Human-Centered Design Workshops on Urban Flooding


dfaWe’re very excited to announce that Design for America has chosen to team up with Makerspace Urbana for an exciting workshop series. This series aims to teach the human-centered design process to the members of Makerspace Urbana and the wider Urbana-Champaign community(all ages, all welcome). This will be carried out through 4 design workshops on urban flooding. In these sessions, DFA students will work in tandem with Makerspace Urbana members to conduct research using ethnographic techniques, reframe a design challenge, prototype, test their designs and re-iterate them based on user feedback from the John St Watershed Steering Committee. By the end of Spring 2015, DFA and Makerspace hope to deliver an installation type product to be handed over to the John Street Watershed Steering Committee.

The prototyping sessions will be a chance for Makerspace Urbana to mentor DFA members and members of the public in the art of making things through various media such as sewing, digital prototyping, 3D printing and other skills.

 So mark your calendars now! And if you would like to receive an email reminder closer to the first workshop date, sign up here!

The workshop series is funded by a grant from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Public Engagement.

 

Schedule:

Workshop 1: Understand • Introduction to Human Centered Design

10/4/2014, 1pm-3pm
Digital Computer Lab Room 2320
1304 West Springfield Urbana, IL 61801
  • Talk on what human-centered design is and why it is beneficial in the context of making
  • Introduction of problem statement and key issues surrounding the problem (5mins)
  • Participants will view prior field research footage recorded by DFA students to get an idea of the surroundings and their problems and then craft questions (15mins)
  • John St Watershed residents come to the workshop and share their experiences and problems/ be interviewed. (40mins)
  • Develop insights into the problem (25mins)
  • Create How Can We Questions (20mins)

Sign up: Online or Facebook Event

Workshop 2: Reframe, Synthesize and Brainstorm

10/25/2014, 1pm-3pm
Digital Computer Lab Room 2320
1304 West Springfield Urbana, IL 61801
  • Brainstorming sessions (30mins)
  • Choose ideas (10mins)
  • Forming groups to prototype those ideas
  • Prototyping (40mins)
  • Users will be invited to critique ideas. (40mins)

*This workshop will be facilitated by Julian Bongiorno from DFA National HQ

Workshop 3: Prototyping

11/1/2014  • 11/8/2014 • 11/15/2014 (time flexible)
Makerspace Urbana or other TBD location
  • Consists of DFA students working with Makerspace members every week informally to re-iterate and build prototypes for testing

Workshop 4: Testing and Feedbackeframe, Synthesize and Brainstorm

12/06/2014, 1pm-3pm
Location TBD
  • Participants will learn to communicate their ideas in a compelling way through a pitching workshop. (20mins)
  • Show their prototypes to John St Watershed members to get their own feedback
  • Brainstorm ways to improve their designs (40min)
  • Devise ways to continue with their ideas if participants feel they want to continue with their ideas (30mins)

 

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Unity Community Center Workshop

Last year we the Children’s Discovery Museum’s education coordinator (Bethany Thomas) invited us to do a workshop with their Maker Camp. This year we were invited back to have more maker related fun with the wonderful kids at the Unity Community Center. Seven of our Makerspace Urbana volunteers were able to attend and we set up 3 different maker activity  stations for the kids.  One station was our classic soldering workshop!

Maker Camp Bloomington Community Center (1 of 33)

Soldering is Easy! And kids pick it up really quick.

Maker Camp Bloomington Community Center (6 of 33)

This girl quickly became an excellent soldering teacher after finishing her own blinky badge.

Another was Led/Throwy/Origami.

Maker Camp Bloomington Community Center (3 of 33)

Light up origami time!

The new workshop station we were able to provide this time was sewing custom plush dolls! Huge thanks to Judy Lee from the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab for helping teach and put this workshop station together.

The kids cut out the patterns they created.

The kids got to cut out the patterns they created.

Learned to sew and stitch their pieces together.

Learned to sew and stitch their pieces together.

And ended up with some amazing creations!

And ended up with some amazing creations!

Thanks to the all the awesome kids who made this event a memorable one for all of us.

Full photo album here.

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Pewter Casting at Make-a-tion

Pewter Casting at Make-a-tion

This is the third year we’ve attempted a pewter casting workshop and once again the results were pretty wonderful. Our excellent volunteer/instructor Erich did an awesome job explaining exactly what pewter is and how easy it can be worked with even at home. Then we moved right along to playing with making molds out of silicone putty.

Pewter Casting (12 of 60) Pewter Casting (15 of 60)

Erich had brought in some some simple wooden carved shapes and objects he picked up at the local craft store that made for perfect items to mold the silicone around.

Pewter Casting (18 of 60)

Pewter Casting (21 of 60)

Many of the attendees also brought their own objects from home that they had decided they would like to create a pewter version of.

Pewter Casting (25 of 60)Pewter Casting (24 of 60)

 

After the molds were set (~10 min) it was time to head outside and start melting some metal.

Pewter Casting (31 of 60)Pewter Casting (35 of 60)

Once we had some liquid metal it was time to start the pouring and see how our molds worked.

Pewter Casting (43 of 60)Pewter Casting (38 of 60)

Turns out they worked great!

Pewter Casting (50 of 60)

 

Here’s a cast from a 3D printed pac-man ghost. We even managed to add a hole through it’s head so it could be attached to something.

Pewter Casting (48 of 60)Pewter Casting (63 of 60)

Thanks to everyone who came for making this a really fun event!

More photos from the event here.

 

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