You have two weeks to turn this in, but get started early, because it is a lot of work!
What’s the assignment?:
INVENT A WAY FOR MICHAEL JOHNSON, WHO IS CONFINED TO A WHEEL CHAIR, TO CLEAR HIS DRIVEWAY OF HEAVY SNOW.
Michael is a NASCAR racer!
- What will I do for this assignment? Dream up a new, cool, never-before-done way for people confined to a wheelchair can clear their driveway of snow.
- What will I learn? The Design Thinking process for problem-solving. (Process explained below)
- How do I do this assignment? Complete each of the four sections outlined below that will step you through each phase of the Design Thinking process.
Just what IS design thinking? (link to more information about Design Thinking)
Design thinking is a revolutionary method for changing the way businesses and other organizations approach and solve problems. This process is extremely popular for solving all sorts of complex problems because it ensures solutions will likely work for the target audience. It employs the concept of Human Centered Design, as we discussed in class.
As discussed in detail in class, these are four phases of five phases of the process you will work through:
1 Empathize – Understand the target users and their needs/interests
2 Define – Synthesize your observations (use knowledge to frame a problem you’d like to solve, )
3 Ideate – Brainstorm, think of ideas, lots of them
4 Prototype – You will actually build a 3D model of your solution. This aids the evaluation and critique of your idea.
(5 – Note, you will not be doing this phase: Test – Will it work? Redefine, fix, make better)
EMPATHY (learn more about who you’re doing this for by doing your research) Librarians are great resources.
Before you can design a solution for someone, you need to learn about them, their lives and the challenges they face.
First, research the following three elements.
They must be researched, informed, not merely what you imagine.
Include source information for each, or you won’t get credit for it.
Next, write 10 facts (5 each) about maneuvering in a wheelchair:
Again, this must be researched, not what you think. Include the source for each fact, or you will not get credit for it. It doesn’t have to be from the internet. It can be from any reliable source.
For each of these two categories, write at least five, full-sentences bullet points
- Mobility: Describe some of the mobility challenges someone in a wheelchair has, particularly when shoveling snow. Such as:
- When confined to a wheelchair, what challenges does a person face when lifting heavy snow with just their arms and then moving it to another location?
- How what happens when a person confined to a wheelchair pushes against heavy snow?.
- Physics: Explain some of the of the physical forces involved that would prevent someone seated from being able to shovel a driveway. Such as:
- What occurs when a standard, non-motorized wheelchair moves over snow and ice?
- What happens when you push on a shovel from a wheelchair against something heavy, like wet snow?
- What are some properties of snow that would be relevant to this assignment?
DEFINE Write the question that you are going to solve)
Once you have a general understanding of who you’re designing a solution for and their physical limitations, define exactly what the problem is that you were trying to solve using the guidelines below.
You must ask a question that you will want to solve for Michael.
You must begin your question with the words, “How might we…”
And you ask it in such a way as to get to the most possible ideas.
- For example. A question asked, “How might we build a bridge across this river?” will get you just a bridge.
- But, by asking it more broadly, “How might we cross this river?” allows for more ideas, like tunnels, ferries, even trampolines!
- So, don’t use nouns (bridge) in your question. Use verbs (cross). You will lose points if you use a noun.
Now, one more thing about questions. You must take into consideration what you learned about the user (people in wheelchairs) during the Empathy phase.
THIS IS A BAD QUESTION because it doesn’t consider what
teenagers are like, what they need or how they want to feel.
(from the Empathy phase of the process).
So, think about your wheelchair research when
framing your question …
In the case of the teenagers eating healthier food, this is how
you might fill in the responses to the questions above.
THIS IS A BETTER QUESTION that will increase the likelihood
of your solution actually working would be to ask:
Now, write your question: How might we…?”
IDEATE (Divergent thinking: come up with lots of ideas that might solve the challenge)
PHASE 3: IDEATE (think of ideas)
For this part of the assignment, you must generate ideas and then choose one that you to prototype in Part 4. To do this you will be making lists, similar to past assignments.
You will be generating ideas two ways:
LIST 1: What things move materials like dirt, snow, etc.?
List ten (10) ways that materials of any kind (not just snow) can be moved from one location to the other, or ways that can make material “disappear” in someway. Interpret that how you like.
For example, a snow shovel moves snow, a bulldozer pushes dirt (that’s two for your list right there). What other things move materials of any sort?
LIST 2: A wheelchair IS part of your solution (you can only spend up to $300)
List ten (5) ideas involving a wheelchair (as full sentences) that might solve the problem. Be imaginative!
Constraints for the wheelchair portion:
- Any device must be hand operated. You can invent nothing motorized that can move a shovel.
- Your solution has to be something
- that anyone confined to a wheelchair with use of their upper-body can do easily
- that doesn’t include swapping out tires
- that must work with a non-motorized wheelchair
- that can fit any style of non-motorized wheelchair
- the user can finish shoveling as quickly as anyone not confined to a wheelchair
- that costs under $300
- that has a solid and attractive design
LIST 3: A wheelchair is NOT part of your solution (again, you can only spend up to $300)
List FIVE (5) ideas that can work without using a wheelchair (as full sentences)
Why do this, too? if you ask for a wheelchair solution, you’re stuck with only thinking that Michael must clear snow from his wheelchair, but maybe there are other ways to solve this problem that don’t involve a wheelchair. What else can you do with snow? Think about its properties. List ideas that will allow Michael (himself) to clear snow out of his driveway that don’t involve a wheel chair. (But, don’t try to be clever and say he could hire someone to shovel his driveway. A motorized chair is not an option.) Be imaginative!
PROTOTYPE (build a physical model of your best idea)
Now it’s time to choose (converge on) your most workable idea and make a prototype of it. What do I mean by prototype?
Show us how it works! This can be a 3D model, a 3D drawing or a 2D drawing.
To Do: Choose your favorite idea and do these three things:
- Sketch (draw) your prototype three different ways: 1) top, 2) side and 3) an angle that shows three sides.
- Do your best. We need to be able to understand your idea!
- Use a dark marker to outline it, NOT JUST PENCIL
- Make sure the photos you shoot are not sideways before uploading!
- Label your drawings.What are the parts?
- Writea detailed, 1/2 page explanation of how it would work.
HOW TO SUBMIT THIS ASSIGNMENT PROPERLY
Combine all four parts of this assignment into ONE, four-page document
SUBMIT AS A PDF FILE to the correct Dropbox. Make sure you have uploaded the correct file.
On each page:
PAGE 1 of your document:
- AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE PUT YOUR FULL NAME
- UNDER THAT, ADD THE QUESTION YOU WROTE IN THE “DEFINE” PART.
- UNDER THAT, LIST YOUR RESEARCH. LABEL THIS PORTION “EMPATHY” AND BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR SOURCES.
- AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE PUT THE LABEL “IDEAS“. ADD YOUR IDEAS FROM THE “IDEATE” PHASE SEPARATED UNDER THE HEADINGS “LIST 1“, “LIST 2,” AND “LIST 3“.
- LABEL THIS PAGE “PROTOTYPE.”
- UNDER THIS PUT YOUR 1/2 PAGE EXPLANATION OF HOW YOUR IDEA WORKS.
- COMBINE YOUR THREE DRAWINGS ON A SINGLE PAGE. LABEL THE IMPORTANT PARTS OF YOUR INVENTION.
Upload your SINGLE document to the dropbox, “Design thinking assignment”