Visual Responses to Everyday Wellbeing Challenge

Week 2 of the Everyday Wellbeing Design Challenge with Massey University rolled around, and it was a fascinating array of dialogue and visuals.

As Week 1 ended, the students were asked to spend their independent study hours working to make sense of the first week’s crash course in Wellbeing. They were asked to find a general area they might be interested in pursuing, and bring in an image or two the following week to discuss.

I joined one of the workshop groups with Mark Bradford (Senior Design Tutor) to hear all about this next round of Design Research. Spread over the course of 2 days, the students went through another round of dialogue with their peers – a chance to discuss the image they had brought in – how did it relate to wellbeing, their lives, and an area of research they were willing to pursue.

The dance of group formation then began.

This is always a hard process, which we enjoyed seeing Massey’s tutors navigate (after our own experiences with the likes of Lifehack Labs last year). The students grouped around interest areas, rather than existing friendships or skills. As they broke up into these groups, they had the task of refining their general research area, using 8 key points (Issue, Background, Audience(s) or Users, Audience/User needs, Stakeholders, Stakeholder motivation (why they care), Desired action or experience, Barriers).

The next day they regrouped with their research briefs fleshed out on 8 pages of A4 – some in powerful visual forms, some in sketches, and others in plain English. As they were laid out, all the different groups got a chance to look at the other groups’ work to help draw links, form associations, see parallels and spot potential opportunities to collaborate. The workshop then went up a gear – quick fire “project speed dating” rounds to help the groups get feedback, refine the story of their project, and form a 30 second pitch, which was delivered to the whole group.

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This was then followed up with an ‘Ex-change’ across the School of Design – Fashion, Photography, Industrial and Visual Communication – all met to share where they had got to. 290 Students, many meeting for the first time, sharing their perspectives, the diversity of their projects and approaches, and most hearteningly – sharing their perspective of what Wellbeing is to them.

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The paper has 10 weeks to go, and the leaps forward already are amazing. We’ll bring you some stories direct from students next week in our wrap up. Check out the Design Challenge hub for all the stories so far.

Designing For Everyday Wellbeing - Week 2

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