After receiving the live brief ‘In the Round’ our group was keen to get started comparing ideas using the brain storming and mind mapping techniques we have been using for our Change By Design class. Our assignment was to work as a group to swap ideas and discuss our understanding of the brief towards a product outcome.
Our initial response from the brief seemed mutual confusion, from the brief we were asked to design a something which would give people a better connection with 3D objects -specifically aimed at teenagers ranging from 13-18. When we came together as a group it quickly became apparent the brief refered to the distance between teenagers and the world around them, a product which would distract them from their ipads, iphones, portable games and worst of all Facebook.
From the beginning we used different brain storming techniques to ‘warm up’ and then get down to business, shortly after ideas were flowing! By not dismissing silly ideas we felt more at ease with each other and comfortable enough to think more openly. As with most group activities; personalities can class, voices are louder than others or people are shy -however, the post-it brain storming technique worked wonders for us all as we realised we were all evenly making suggestions and considering other people’s ideas.
We aimed our thoughts to something which would join people together without the use of gadgets and gizmos, something which would help young people connect with their surroundings and even everyday objects which would usually be taken for granted. From the brain storming we began to narrow our ideas to certain key ideas.
Our product should;
Be social -Bringing people together with similar passions
Creative and exciting – Something they can design or custom make to their own personal specifications.
3D Spacial awareness -Paper folding/origami or sculpture
Energetic – Get people interested and willing to further their experience into other similar fields
Something Green – Recyclable, changing the 3D form of something.
Music – One of the major ways of displaying individualty among teenagers is music choice.
From these key points we discussed further and decided on something which embodies all of these ideas focussing on music. Television series/movies such as Glee and High School Musical to (must to my disgust) X Factor have had a huge impact on young people, this is too much of a viral pandemic to not exploit into an opportunity for a positive product for young people: which embodies recycling, social activities, creativity and exciting.
Together we came up with a plan for world domination via a ‘How to -Make your own Instrument pack’! This idea sparked all of our imaginations and grabbed our attention as something we all want to experiment with! We finally created a mind map of all the different aspects of this product, all of which would be a positive influence on young people’s attitude, social skills, creativity, dexterity and hearing -May also encourage teens to take up a real instrument.
We even came up with a name for our group;
The Battle of the Pop-Up Flash Orchestras
A ‘make your own’ instrument pack would encourage young people to look at normal day objects in a different way; see a margarine tub as a guitar, consider stretching different types of fabric to create a drum, elastic bands as strings (giving teens a better understanding of pitch and tuning) to even a wine glass with different markings up the side to relate which note is created when friction is created on the rim.
This product could even be used as a way of connecting people with their current limited social communications, as mentioned in our group meetings, teens could make up bands of these different instruments, practice over skype, create groups on facebook and create band web pages also.
I believe this project is quirky and alternative enough to make a positive influence on the public, the new disconnected/screenless guitar hero. The topic teen rebellion was brought up a lot in our discussions and how better for a teen to rebel by learning and unofficial instrument with almost ‘party-trick’ qualities. This product would inadvertently be teaching young people new skills and perhaps even inspire them to later take up a real instrument.
As for our group project, I’d say it was a massive success.
Special thanks to Alice Kennedy for taking photos used in this post. And a simple thank you for everyone else in my group David Ramsey, Rosie Kimber and Laura Samuel.