For my Spring 2016 semester at Babson, I cross-registered in two design courses at Olin College of Engineering.
Affordable Design & Entrepreneurship (ADE) is a capstone course focused on connecting student groups to communities where they can apply their knowledge in design and entrepreneurship to create sustainable solutions for real-world problems. In total, there are five project groups working domestically and internationally.
My ADE group focuses on community development in Clarksdale, Mississippi. There, we work closely with community members co-design an extra-curricular enrichment space for Clarksdale youth ages 14-18. Although my team has been there twice, ADE team of semesters prior have been to Clarksdale, and we are now tasked with taking the project forward.
In ADE we focus on:
- Co-designing with Clarksdale youth
- Establishing community partners
User-Oriented Collaborative Design (UOCD) is a project-based design course. In UOCD students form teams that focus on specific user groups, and ultimately co-design solutions to issues that they face as a part of this user group.
My UOCD team works with Volunteer EMTs. Before even thinking of possible solutions, we reached out to, and interviewed over 20 VEMTs. Afterwards, we focused on synthesizing interview data and creating frameworks to help us understand our user group, and what their possible needs might be.
Currently, we are in the ideation phase of UOCD, and are co-designing with our VEMTs to craft a useful product/service/network.
In UOCD we focus on:
- Conducting user interviews
- Synthesizing data into frameworks (personas, word-mood cards, etc.)
- Co-designing with VEMTs