By Julia Bergamin
This phase felt very positive and joyful in many ways. Ideas want to be seen, talked about, developed and celebrated – they crave love and acceptance. During the research phase of this project it was often difficult for all of us, including Sam our client, to hold back on the ideas. We held back because, as we had learned from Johannes, research should be focused observation of what actually is not what could be. Jumping ahead can lead to oversights or dangerous assumptions being made. After diligently working on our research topics to gain insights, finally, we were allowed to let our ideas burst out, and so they did, enthusiastically and in great numbers!
We were treated to a fantastic training session from Jude Claybourne who showed us ways to be physically embodied throughout ideas generation and how to sync our rhythms together so that we could collaborate effectively as a team. We did this by using a form of group play that sharpened our focus while bringing out optimism and humour.
Jude also taught us about 3 distinct stages or ‘hats’ to wear while working on ideas; the dreamer, the realist and the critic.
The dreamer has no limitations, all ideas are good! We practiced celebrating each other’s ideas, shouting “HELL YEAH!” and building on wild ideas spontaneously, thick and fast. This was a fantastic exercise and we all felt liberated and energised. The realist then puts on his hat and says, “Great idea -so, how? who? when? what will be needed?” This stage takes the wild and wonderful ideas of the dreamer and builds them hypothetically, making them more real by adding detail. Finally the critic enters the room and picks holes in the work of the previous two, essentially trying to break it by finding its flaws and weaknesses. This is not for the pleasure of bringing an idea down, of course, but to make it stronger and more viable. Could this idea in fact work?
We worked in teams to develop ideas for 3 intertwined areas of the project: the offer, the physical space and communications. The greatest challenge we faced was to cope with the huge quantity of ideas that we came up with. Post-it notes galore!
My greatest insight from this process was the understanding that ideas are not strokes of genius or the result of one person’s ambition, but in fact the result of mashing things together, constructive, cooperative building, with a genuine desire to solve a problem and meet someone’s needs.
I particularly enjoyed the prototyping element when we made quick mock-ups to aid in developing our ideas and to use as part of our presentations. I spent a couple of hours making a mock-up model of the walled garden space. Other team members made quick mock-ups of posters, mood boards and sketched designs.
Here we are all together presenting our ideas to Sam and the rest of the team at Edventure!
At the end of the phase we recapped our work and our learning as is customary at Edventure by doing something fun together – this time we played pictionary.
Finally, a big thanks from the whole team to Tammie for facilitating this phase! Well done!