Four students joined the d.school’s media experiments team during the fall quarter of 2015. Their charge was simple on the surface: collaborate with a member of our team and with one another to experiment using media. Along the way, we brought them to places off campus, did our best to provide inspiration here on The Farm, and gave them full permission to abandon the projects we as core members were wrestling with to pursue something that mattered to them. They also had one more assignment: share what you learned.
I have discovered that one of the biggest challenges for someone engaged in a human-centered design process is carving time out to tell the story of the work. How are you doing? What emotions and thoughts are you struggling with? Why did something work — or not? What new idea came to you even before the work is done? How are your collaborations going? What more did you learn about the possibilities of human centered design?
These stories are often relegated to the end, an afterthought once all of the difficult work of need-finding, prototyping and ambiguity-wrestling is done. Yet the stories of how one navigates those rough waters and the ideas that arise (whether beautifully crafted or half-baked) are some of the most valuable artifacts. They offer an opportunity for one to look up and see they are not alone in navigating the storm of creative process. Better yet, it gives others a chance to see you and, perhaps, find comfort as well.
Sharing what you learn as you pursue a creative endeavor is a gift to others. I hope you see these pieces as just such a gift.
Happy new year and happy making.
By Chuck Allen
By Laine Bruzek
By Katie Kirsch
By Andrew Molina