A. Hutter: IDP 116

In Reading Response, Uncategorized by Andrea Hutter

Reflection on Our Team Process in Early Prototyping

This response focuses on our processes after definition and ideation of problem-solving. It was crucial to be open and detached in our individual points of view in this process and not take personally any criticism or displacement of our contributions. As we moved toward prototyping, I became acutely aware of my internal senses of competitiveness and individualism and how these were hampering my participation in teamwork. I had to check myself and consciously recalibrate.

I think that Claire getting access to a wheelchair was brilliant. It heightened our empathy level was extremely useful for our team testing and the refining our prototypes even before we tested them with our user.  We decided that we would take more than one path toward a final solution. Krista and Darpen focused on a multi-tool, multi-function wedge plus design and I pursued a electromechanical pressure rod idea with input from the team and made a prototype, but this solution was abandoned after our own wheelchair testing in the studio. Claire was researching an electromechanical design incorporating wheel(s) and a motor and I joined her in that pursuit.

“As the object of activity, the prototype, is “simultaneously given, socially constructed, contested, and emergent.” (Blackler, 2009, p. 27) I think this quote from the reading describes well the intellectual dance between the team partners and how in the process, we became more open and in tune with each other. We played off each other’s ideas, with ideas being refined or contested and with new ideas emerging and diverging. Being a part of this design thinking process has adjusted my assumptions about problem solving and this will carry over to other activities in and outside of class, particularly in group work that I will be a part of in my summer internship. There has been a learning curve involved and I would love to tackle another design challenge with my current team to see how our process working together could be further developed and expanded.

It has been an engaging, enjoyable and dynamic process and I look forward participating in the next segments of development.