Learning goals: Understanding the design process, from coming up with ideas to prototyping to implementation
Activities/interesting projects: Continuing from last week’s activity on exploring the needs of their school and community, students were encouraged to reflect on previous lessons and brainstorm in groups to identify and finalize a concept for the final group project.
They identified the map exercise from the second workshop as one of the most memorable, impactful and fun activities in the series. Taking the map element as focal inspiration they created a detailed map of the neighborhood, experimenting with different cartographic methods. Stories were shared. Most of them identified their favorite hangout spots such as “Futsal” (i.e. the football gaming lounge), Royal’s (the “best rice kade in the area”) and the achcharu kade next to the school. Some focused on focal attractions such as the Crow Island beach and St Mary’s church.
Insights/surprises: Starting the detailed map was a bit tricky as they had to map the area organically from memory without any external references. Some lanes were duplicated and there were arguments regarding which lane was the “right one”. Chaos ensued. The correct one was later verified with an aerial view image and map of the area. The kids compared both maps and announced that their map looked way cooler!
The second stage of the workshop was to adapt and transition from 2D (maps) to 3D (signposts). The kids shortlisted ten of the locations through peer voting and created signposts, incorporating customized symbols and artwork corresponding to each point.
The following workshop will be used to modify the paper mock-ups, which will be used as a reference to create the actual metal signposts.
Some of the potential locations to prop the signpost include the Rasamunakanda Junction (close to the Mattakkuliya bus stop) which would ensure maximum community interaction and exposure, in the school yard, or outside the school next to the gate (we received permission from the principal for the latter).
Continuing challenges: The kids continue to find brainstorming ideas a challenge, and also found it hard to understand why design requires a multi-stage process, rather than jumping straight into creating the final product straightaway.