We finished off the semester with a show at our place. A last minute idea which seemed to work really well - the Communication Design Seniors all pulled some great visuals together, and two even made iphone demo's for their ideas. Stunning, really.
We asked them to step outside of what they normally do, and to take risks with their work. This seems to have worked well, as the quality of the work is higher than I would have expected at this age. They rose to our challenges with good humour and resilience. They tried out new ways of working (we gave them foamcore boards to work on to make their thinking visible), and new methods (we showed them Doblin's AEIOU for example), and then they researched deeply and thoroughly new topic areas.
Our aim was to get them to develop ideas for new products, services, experiences and interventions that play a value-creating role in the world, simply because they connect human needs with new technological possibilities, creating loops of value. These loops are not simply concerned with generating money, but with other flows and forms of value that people experience, enjoy and find meaningful.
The final projects evolved ideas around 4 different areas; four of them developed Service Propositions From exploring the positive side of social media - alerting early and connecting people and funding for example, Anne Brody made an iphone app demo and created a hyper-local news service called Echo.
Tracy Chu's Nerd Aid was sensitively designed to help people help their game-addicted friends without stigmatising them. A kit of alternative experiences and vouchers for local venutes and activities all added up to the gamer's final trophy for doing more with their lives than sitting in front of a screen.
Lara Osterwalder used her own experience of being creatively blocked to create Unblocked.com - a website for design students are stuck because their mind is blocked, and a range of ambient communications to alert students to its existence. Fashion bunny, Min Kim explored the luxury brand market and in understanding the forces that make it work, developed a very personal proposition through her super-exclusive personalised magazing, V.
Three of them looked at Value Fictions; Christopher Mangan designed a fictitious company called The Content Sanitation Panel developed "in order to illuminate, educate, and shock viewers of the past/present/future of censorship through hyperbole based almost entirely on fact." Radhika Koyawala explored the kinds of syndromes that heavy internet use creates, especially the plasticity of brains and created a fictional Dr Cerebro who was the founder of thie Neo-Phrenology. Aspects of this movement was the ability to detect a range of symptoms through the diagnostic she created. Keetae Ryu's research into what makes for a good co-branding match, was inspired to create his a fictional Co-Branding Agency, Flying Pig and company branding and co-branding process!
Two looked at promotional campaigns - Eddie Jo's posters and complex but simple infographics in his project. Unwholesome, Unsanitary, Inhumane looked to raise awareness of the madness that is post-industrial food systems. His personal value of safe food got him to bring it to a wider audience. Albert Yih's film "Pass me the ball" revealed his deep passion for the sport, and the real story behind the complete lack of lustre for Soccer in America.
Tools for Thinking such as Valerie Umbricht's Exposure, The post internet music industry game
Alejandra Rodriguez-Gitler's Decisions, Decisions comprised a wonderfull synthesis of the complexity of decision making and decision making tools. Her book (for which she gives you permission to buy also for yourself) is filled with methods of decision-making which can fit to your available time and sense of priority.
Colleagues from the School of Design and the School of Architecture, came and gave their thoughts - Terry Irwin, Dan Boyarski and Mary-Lou Arscott came and gave some sensitive and timely feedback, and a big boost to them all. All in all it worked out brilliantly.
More of the photos here.