MIT Media Labs Design Innovation Workshop 2015 - Day 0

Logistical mess

Let’s get one thing out of the way right up - Gujrat might be truly American when it comes to roads and landscaping, it’s still Indian at heart when it comes to people driving on those roads.

It was a chilly morning in here at Gandhinagar with wide, green and magnanimous PDP University. Although inside, things were not that merrier. The organisers have no clue what to do with the participants.

Actual proceedings started one and half hours late and that too with lots of bumps during the course of keynote and track briefings.

Once the tracks are briefed, participants followed their relevant track mentors to get lost in a room somewhere in one of the huge buildings all across the campus.

I chose to follow the herd to the room alloted for Creating Playful Engaging Experiences track.

Mentors, Bianca and Thariq, are first year grad student at MIT Media Lab. They are pretty enthusiastic about the whole track. It is an interesting mix of people who have came for the track. Mostly designers from design institutes, design-oriented undergrads & game-enthusiasts.

Rest of the day went in spurs of ice breaking, design thinking 101, an interesting ideation game and lots of discussions ranging from MIT’s being-great bias to how the block chain can be used for prior-art detection & next-gen peer-to-peer communications.

Fun fact - MIT actually gives out $100 worth of bitcoins to it’s students and analyse their spending patterns

In the next 5 days (last day being the showcase day), the plan is to create game(s) & playful experiences in physical domain leveraging technology (again involving physical devices like Tessel & motion detectors) & innovative design thinking. It will take some time to get going as there are many non-programmers to have a flowing prototype phase. Also another plan of mine which is to check out proceedings at other tracks does not seem to be happening just because of the nature of the program (which would require active participation in the chosen track) and disparate locations of the other tracks.

Like it started, the day ended with another logistical collapse. The accommodation I was promised at the start of the day did not happen. Making me to move to a nice hotel in Ahmedabad.

Now, I’m looking forward to the rest of this ordeal.