MIT Media Labs Design Innovation Workshop 2015 - Day 2

Intense Workout

Day started with an exercise leveraging Idea Hexagon and then followed with more ideas & brainstormings. And then sticky-ranking of ideas across different categories.

Sticky Ideas
Sticky Ideas

Post which we were grouped based on our preferences among these idea categories :

  • Social
  • Learning
  • Health
  • Digital Games with Physical Aspects
  • Physical Games with Digital Aspects
  • Art / Experiences

My preferences were learning & health. And after further skill based shuffling of people, I ended up in a group of 4 for learning.

The idea was to have people both from tech. & design background in each group.

Then we played a completely silly game called footloose. Which was kind of mental-block breaker.

There were around 2-3 hrs of very tiring discussions, brainstorming, & presentations. We are still not sure what we are gonna do.

The people in Health category have kind of nailed an idea on creating something to inspire people to bike more which will be along the lines of the game temple run. More on it in coming days.

In between, we were visited by folks from synthetic biology track to present their idea of a game - that will make people tap their legs on a tune and in process create an unique DNA sequence which will be rendered in real time !!

Also there was a demo by folks from Play Lab who showcased their Arduino based electronic boards, different kind of connectors & an unique programming environment. It actually is pretty cool. And it would fun to see if some of the groups uses them.

Later in the evening we visited lifelong learning track to learn about a Media Labs product called Build in Progress that helps in documenting design process. It’s neat.

The whole design framework that we are undergoing is pretty rigorous and encourages people to burn themselves out over and over again so that they might in the end realise what they really want to do. I am getting it’s efficacy when at the start of the day I generally come with an empty mind and during the course of the day I see my pages filling up with an unhealthy amount of ideas. Most of them ridiculous, but still.

Some of our (mostly silly) ideas in learning were:

  • A game for kids / teens which has a superhero whose challenge is to beat his nemesis by conversing with him in his language. To do that he has to pass multiple challenges and each challenge will actually teach him different aspects of this new language.

  • Parents mimicking their kids or characters in kids books as a task supervised by their kids in return teaching them lessons on taking ownership.

  • Game to teach projections with a physical device whose shadow is shown in a 3D digital space

  • A MMO game to teach kids the financial aspects of real world like supply-demand & inflation where they have to build their own companies.

After all these intense workouts the whole day, we started our field trip at around 8.30 pm in the night in an old part of Ahmedabad called Manek Chauk. It’s an interesting place which in the morning is a jewelery market that gets role-reversed into an insane kind of street-food place at night. It’s full of authentic Gujrati snacks and desserts which are overwhelmingly tasty and fatty at the same time. We had a great time conversing with vendors, questioning them on various aspects related to our ideas and eating their amazing food.

I’m worn out both by the intensity of activities throughout the day and later by all the butter & cheese I ate there.