Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve problems, and find desirable solutions for people. A design mindset is not merely problem-focused, it’s solution focused and action oriented towards creating a preferred future. Design Thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be—and to create desired outcomes that benefit the end user.
In Grade 2, students recently used Design Thinking to create stools. They determined a need in the classroom (stools that provide a unique sitting option), then made a plan for their first iteration. With the assistance of teachers, students worked with various tools (drills, staples) to stabilize plastic crates with wood, then provided padding for added comfort. In the coming days the girls will obtain user feedback, then go back to make a second improved iteration, implementing what they learned from peer comments.
For the past few weeks, students in Digital Arts have been exploring the theme of “repurposing.” They are taking old products, such as computers, cordless phones, jeans, and shirts, and giving them new life. Some students are focusing on textiles, creating bags, totes, pencil cases, and stuffed animals. Other students are taking a more industrial route and disassembling electronics to see what they can create.
The girls are gaining an understanding of what it takes to make the products we use every day. They are learning that a computer is really hard to disassemble! And they are discovering how useful a zipper from an old jacket can be.
To help make their new textile products more interesting, students are using our vinyl cutter and heat press to create custom prints. They start by designing a vinyl cutout using one color. Later, they challenge themselves to create vinyl prints using multiple colors, all cut separately and carefully placed together in the heat press to create a multi-color design.
The Riveter Lab has lots of projects going on and the students are having a great time. This week in Digital Arts, we had a 90-minute class and I asked students to clean up 5 minutes before the end of class. One student said, “I thought this was a double block class!” We were having so much fun with our projects that we had completely lost track of time.