For this assignment, start by converting two of your problem statements into "how might we" questions. Get a group of people together (at least 4 others) in person. It is your challenge to facilitate and participate in two brainstorming sessions: one for each "how might we" question. Spend at least 20 minutes on each question. Follow the guidelines in the lecture notes. Keep the session playful. Perhaps start with improv games. You should come up with one new game or tool. Sort the ideas into categories. You can use the silent sort method to save time. Do a multi-voting to see which ideas are most popular with the participants. Document the process that you used in both text and photos. Document the IPM. Post the 10 "best" concepts as sketches on the blog and in your design notebook. 5 ideas from each "how might we" prompt.
For this assignment I was able to get four other people to agree to be a part of a brainstorming session to come up with new ideas to innovate my topic area: scarves. However, the session itself did not go as well as I had hoped as far as quantity of ideas went (more on that later).
To get started, I decided to get the group started by playing a game to get them in a more creative mood. And for a lazy Sunday night, this was imperative because everyone seemed to be tired and read to get to bed. For the two guys in the group, I had to compromise and let the Broncos/Chiefs game be on in the background. Not ideal, but like I said, it was basically a condition of their involvement.
The game we played is a game I came up with last weekend and decided to perfect for this assignment. It is based on the game Scattergories, but I argue it's more easily played than the full game (which requires boards, paper, writing, and takes much longer). The only materials you need from the actual game are the category cards and the die. This is how you play:
Sit all players in a circle, preferably around a table.Using a category card, have each person take turns reading off a category and rolling the die to see which letter will be the subject of the round. (The player holding the card is the host and doesn't contribute to that round.) Then, the remaining players go around in clockwise order naming a word for the category, without repeating ideas. When a player can't think of anything, they get a "strike" and are out of the round. When three people can't name anything, there are three strikes and the round ends. Because the point of the game is to be creative and have people improvise, there aren't points involved. The winner can be chosen by the group as the person with the best/most ideas. The game was well-received by the group and they agreed that is was a quicker way to play the board game.
"HOW MIGHT WE...?"
Before we could start the brainstorming session, I had to formulate my two problem/need statements into "how might we" statements. I did this beforehand and, based on the previous assignment's notes, came up with the two following statements to use with the group:
1. "How might we make wearing scarves more masculine?"
2. "How might we store scarves effectively?"
I felt as though these questions were broad enough but also specific to the ideas I was trying to get out of the activity.
Next, I started to set up the materials for the brainstorming session in the living room. Similar to the class brainstorming activity, we used markers and post-its for participants to draw and title their ideas. I used the same set-up and rules in class (i.e. drawings must have a title, ideas must be introduced to the group, etc.) We set 20 minutes as a timer and got started.
At first, it didn't go so well. It took the group a long time to get the ideas flowing, and even by the end, the quantity of ideas was pretty low. The group was shy and it took a while for them to come out of their shells. I tried to continually inspire them to be silly and think outside of the box, which seemed to help. As a modification to the class activity, when things got slow I decided to throw in random activities or objects to inspire them. This also seemed to help.
For the first session focused on making scarves more masculine, the IPM for the group was about 0.85. For the second session about scarf storage, the IPM was 1.05 for the group. The IPM per person, however, was much lower than in class, which makes sense.
The following photos summarize the photos for each brainstorming session. The first is for masculine scarf ideas, the second is for scarf storage.
THE TOP TEN
Next, I had the group categorize the ideas and choose their favorites. The following are the highest ranked ideas for innovating scarves respective to each session category.
I made sure to keep all the ideas and document the top ten in my design notebook for further research and future assignments. Overall I think this assignment was really fun! It was interesting to see how a brainstorming session can be held outside of the classroom, which is more of an ideal environment. I was able to make notes on how I would change the process in future sessions.