Build Design Challenge: Day Three

We’re on our third day of‘s Design Build Challenge. There’s plenty of time to join. Check out the website!

What’s most impressed me about’s work on this year’s challenge is just how real Build University is trying to keep the experience to the Design Thinking methodology. Today’s work on empathy is excellent and the intention behind how they’ve organized this part of the activity is outstanding.

We started looking at empathy today, trying to determine a “client” whose life we will dive deep into to honor the human-centered nature of the work. I’ll let Ava, one of my sophomores, take it from here…

inNOVAtor Insights

Ava, Sophomore

At the moment, we are at the beginning of the design process and we are working on developing our skills in being empathetic. Yesterday we continued with our design sprint challenge by focusing on observing and building empathy for people from a couple of different images. We looked at words, colors, facial expressions, and body language in each of the images and then discussed common themes to create key concepts for our designs. We found that each image displayed themes of community, peace, empowerment, and flourishing and decided that this would provide some of the foundations for our projects.

We also annotated the Design challenge and developed a better understanding for just what the question is actually asking of us. (See yesterday’s post for that work)

Today we again focused on becoming more empathetic towards those we are designing for with the intention to get to know the user of our product and to design it to best fit their needs. We met four potential clients, all from different backgrounds and age groups and all with different goals and aspirations. We watched an introductory video for each client to get a feel for them and decide who we want to work with for this challenge. 

I decided I would be able to work best with Ises because I felt that I connected with her best as we are both committed to making things better for those around us, whether that be in the form of food security, financial stability, affordable and effective healthcare and housing, etc. I’m interested in learning more about her and figuring out what exactly I can help her with. I think she seems determined truly interested in creating meaningful change in the world and I’m excited to help her do so. 

Overall I do find myself having some reservations about the best way to go about finding a solution to whatever problem we decide to focus on. While we have spent a lot of time in class working on becoming more innovative and thinking outside of the box, I still have noticed that I struggle with this at times. If anything though, I think that obstacle will make this challenge more fun because it will allow me to experiment with becoming more creative and unconventional in my ideas. I think the best way to describe my current feelings toward the events of the coming weeks is cautiously enthusiastic. While I am slightly nervous about the way this will turn out, I am also excited to see what we come up with and all of the different ways we find to solve a problem.

Published by Garreth Heidt

Designerly Minded High School Humanities and Liberal Studies Teacher Faculty Mentor FIRST Robotics Team #7414--PV Retrobotics. Constantly learning, trying to be more a maker and less a consumer of culture. I believe in the infinite value of a liberal education and the power of design thinking to help make the world a better place.

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