Students of Xplora Design Skool, as part of their foundation program, were given the challenge to find & solve pressing social issues from their local environment. The challenge was of 2 weeks duration in which they had to understand and run a Design Thinking project involving – broadly 3 stages: Exploration stage, Experimentation stage & Expression stage, these 3 stages cover the Problem finding & defining the domain, and, problem-solving domain. Whereby sensitizing students with steps in each of these stages i.e. Empathy, observation skills, scouting for problems and defining the problem they want to solve, idea generation & finally prototyping & testing the solution with a thematic exhibition.
With this objective, the “Young innovative minds” could address two of the pressing challenge of our city, Ahmedabad (July 2017) – “The Social Media –A boon or a curse”
Which Social problems to take-up as the Design Project?
The project started with the Explore Stage, where the first step is observing,
Observation of the world around:
- spaces i.e. locations, objects, time
- people i.e. their actions and reactions, objectives
- activities i.e. events & feelings
- To observe and find a problem/ challenge, the students went to field area “the city of Ahmadabad, the aim was to see if they could observe and notice a problem faced by their fellow citizen.
- The most prominent thing that the team observed was the excess use of mobile and the use of social media networking, which the students themselves are aware of, and the most evident was the that created havoc among the youngster on the metro cities the “THE BLUE WHALE” game on the social media. There were two sets of people found those who said I use a cell phone to release my stress and the others who said we break from mobile and do our jobs.
The students then discussed for which broader domain to choose for these.
Brainstorming was a great help to zero down on one out of many Social issues observed. Brainstorming was a great help to zero down on one out of many Social issues observed. And that was “THE SOCIAL MEDIA”.
Students then engaged in brain writing on “Social Media”, to come up with a range of words, Ideas, visuals, experiences – from which emerged further specific problems and concerns.
Students define the problem narrowly – so as to be more effective followed by next empathizing with citizens to know their stories and experiences.
The team talked to approx. 15 people from different walks of life, presented here is an interview which stood out and guided the students to narrow their focus on – THE PROBLEM. The team of students divided themselves for different activities; first, they sat to make questionnaires – framing the kind of questions to be asked that will bring out hidden views, i.e. students good with rapport building talked to the citizens, whereas others documented the interview by taking notes, photographs, and videos.
Interview Excerpt: While talking to an old man on Social Media thoughts like Further, he said: “Our generation had worked hard but this generation (the youngsters) is addicted to mobile phones which is an alarming factor.” He also added that “Our use of headphones is extensive causing much harm to our ears!” At the same point of time, another student talked to another user who said: “I cannot stay without my mobile it makes me feel better and getting me out of the stress.”
Also online business is killing the local business which is not helping in the development of the country.
Now the team got excited about solving one of the pressing problems and found it challenging too, this was the test to select and define the problem.
So finally it was noticed that there were two points of view about the social Medias and two sets of people with a different way to look at it. So finally it was decided to take this topic as final “Social media Boon or curse”
From empathy emerged different areas like Cybercrime, entertainment, health-related issues, distractions, online businesses as areas of social media that need to be researched and discussed.
The students gathered information related to the topic from different sources like Wikipedia, google scholar, etc. Some of the team members talked to experts and noted their views. Different articles were collected from renowned newspapers, magazines, etc. Taking pictures and videos were also a major part of the research.
The students then went documenting the findings & learning and presenting it in a digital format.
Experiment stage, (The Problem Solving Domain)
Ideation: A thorough research helped in developing a better understanding of problems to be addressed and at the same time it triggered many ideas about solving the problems. This eventually helped to generate ideas and concepts, this made very clear that the chosen topic “social media” has been seen in different ways. There were two different points of view that flashed out, Good (those were the users who understand that it is the best thing they have in their life), two were people who think it as a great destruction and is not good if it goes beyond its extreme.
The Ideas emerged from the research and thought process was as
- Initially, it was a great problem as for how to approach or visualize it and how to convey that there are two different approaches to look at it, is it really good or is it really bad, or both impacts are equal.
- An idea of showing a model with a strings attaché to tiny people in the world/Globe.
- Another idea was about showing a user and its shadow to be shown as a monster
- Then the most convincing Idea shaped based on different thoughts
“Creating two point of views and the impact in a single viewpoint with showing and connecting the globe with the social media’s negative and positive impacts in one. Positive is with Angel side and Negative with Devil seen in the mirror showing the side effects, from the front side of the Angel.
The Message: The Screen and beyond”
Making of the mood board from research material on “The Screen and beyond”.
Experimenting & Expressing stage
Prototype: creating a tangible experience
This process involved the creation of a model/an installation to convert the Idea into a tangible form for better understanding and intended impact. Making the creation cost effective was a challenge and so to create the model using waste material worked at its best.
|Cut out Model of a devil and an angel was created using carton box and for the globe, a bamboo basket was used by covering it with old newspaper and a white sheet, similarly, all the other elements were created with Waste packing martial.
The project was greatly appreciated when it was kept open to the parents, student’s friends, and the general public. The student team invited media persons to cover the same so that citizens of the city could be made aware and spread the message.
The student’s team of Xplora Design Skool involved passionately in this project.
Appreciation by Local Newspapers of Ahmedabad,