AURA - Design Jam 1

I started George brown college, a couple of weeks ago and am filled with overwhelming enthusiasm and excitement about going back to school. The first week went by with the introduction to all the great things to look forward to in the course and the people with whom I will be sharing my studio space for the next one year.
By the second week, we all started to settle down and were trying to know our classmates a little better, while still getting used to, to completing assignments and dealing with deadlines. Amidst all this newness, we were introduced to the idea of a Design Jam. The class was randomly divided into Three groups and before we knew it, we were already discussing team names and finalizing on our area of work.

For the next 2 weeks, that followed, it changed our class equation several folds. Everyone grew comfortable within their own groups. We started arriving early or waiting late after class. With better understanding of people and their strengths in the group, we came up with roles that not only used everyone's strength but challenged them to go beyond that.

Week 2 marked the ideation phase, or what we like to call it 100 ideas. We were guided by Ramon and Xavier to produce as many ideas as possible as during this time quantity was more important than quality, and use sticky notes for them. Idea generation started with the most obvious ones but we quickly realised how bizzare we can go with it and then the crazy suggestions started flowing in, including the ones that only made sense when combined with a few posted earlier. By the end of the half an hour ideation process it felt like, we had squeezed every possible idea and put it on the sticky note. This got us to the second phase of ideation which was grouping ideas in broad categories and trying to make sense out of it.

After we grouped our ideas in 6 major categories, we started noticing the links and could see our solution shaping up. We tried to formulate a concrete solution, only to find how a bunch of words we noted down fall into the solution prominently, while some others discretely. The whole of the second week went into polishing and refining our idea into an actual well thought out concept with a name and face, giving birth to AURA, the first holographic visual extension to your voice. As we went deeper into refining the concept we realised how it can be used as a tool for children with learning disorders or elderly people with hearing impairment.

Week 2 came to an end, and it was time for us to present our creation to the Interactive media group, our presentation was received with much appreciation and support, at the same time, some really important questions concerning the security and personal space for the users of this device were raised. We could back-up our answers with the research we did while creating the product and also found out, how can we take it to the next level while interacting with the class. 

aura.jpg

I was lucky enough to be placed in a team that was so supportive and cooperative. Ramon and Xavier guided us on each step and it was no surprise that the first Design Jam proved to be a success. I thoroughly enjoyed working with such a diverse group of people. It is absolutely wonderful to see people from different backgrounds bring their heads together to solve a common problem. Our first design jam was an interesting experience. It was everything I thought it would be.