Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon
Building Creativity through Fab-lab Based Problem Solving and Experimentation: Encouraging Creativity in Non-designers View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Alexander Walker
The Fab-lab problem solving program at Flinders University, was designed to encourage a Creative Thinking/Discovery Learning approach amongst non-designers, by encouraging a spirit of experimentation. By developing problem solving skills, this learning approach can be applied to future problems that are neither clearly defined nor constrained. Increased public access to disruptive and emerging technologies typically found in Fab-labs, assists participants in fostering a culture of innovation and experimentation. Creating a problem that was both challenging and achievable with a group of non-designers whose background and abilities were unknown, is in itself a huge challenge. Other challenges included the cost of the activity, overall complexity, time, and available technology that could be used with little or no formal training. The problem which was tackled was: firstly, build a bridge over a predetermined span (1m) using the minimal number of structural pieces (weight was measured at the end of the exercise, to emphasise efficient bridge design) using only the supplied materials; secondly, program a small robot which could follow a prescribed path across the bridge; and thirdly, integrate the bridge design with an enhanced robot design. It was stressed throughout the activity that the goal was not solely about successfully completing the challenge. Rather, participants needed to be able to explain the methods they used to approach the problem. Initiatives that enhance creativity and non-linear thinking, are critical for enhancing our ability to meet future challenges.
Historically, the instructional designer in higher education was trained to believe that, with advanced understanding of cognitive science and learning technologies, she was the expert in the development of learning environments. Thus, she would bring pedagogical strategies while a subject matter expert brought content to the learning development process. Learners, however, were rarely included as participants in this model. As a consequence, course design served to foreground a prescribed curriculum and the needs of a “typical” undergraduate or graduate learner. By contrast, long before COVID-19 compelled most faculty to pivot to online learning and consider design process, designers in departments of continuing and professional education (CPE) interacted with diverse instructors and learners to develop learning opportunities for “atypical” learners, including those living in northern and remote areas, Indigenous learners, early school leavers, immigrants, and equity deserving groups in general. As a result, these departments and designers often serve as agents of social change in internal and external communities. Furthermore, designers in CPE units are frequently aware of their privilege and, therefore, choose to be critical and reflexive in their practice and design choices. In this paper, we propose framing instructional design as an intersectional practice in which designers, instructors and learners engage in multivocal dialogue to build inclusive learning experiences. In essence, they work as equal partners committed to co-creative principles. To authenticate our study, we share design narratives from Canadian CPE departments that work with marginalized communities and consider design issues of power.
Touching on ‘Collective Collaboration Mapping’ in Citizen Science: How Can Design Contribute to the Co-creation of the Process for Equal Collaboration towards an Inclusive Citizen Science Approach? View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Catharina Van Den Driesche
Citizen science as an inclusive approach for equal collaboration between people with different backgrounds and knowledge, needs to go beyond the contributory approach to collaborate in ways that are more deliberative and accessible. This paper proposes a ‘collective collaboration mapping’ framework for an inclusive citizen science approach based on touchpoints and co-creation methods to collectively create pathways for collaboration using intermediate-level knowledge. Intermediate-level knowledge concerns the uncertainties, imbalances, and alternatives within collaboration that are disclosed for reflection while the process unfolds itself. Moments of collective decisions, within an inclusive collaborative partnership, have a recursive character of evaluation referring to the first step in the process of people coming together and working on an issue for positive change. By effectuating the recursive character of the design process, ‘collective collaboration mapping’ operates as a reflective extension for creating paths in an inclusive citizen science approach to ensure flexible onboarding, equal collaboration, and synergy of knowledge. The ‘collective collaboration mapping’ framework is presented as a dialog tool based on touchpoints to generate a transdisciplinary process for inclusive innovation development, based on lessons learned from citizen science pilot studies in the health domain. The value of this explorative study is to move beyond user involvement towards ’knowledge commons’ based on co-creation methodologies and supported through design research.