Build Design Challenge: Collaborating, Defining, Affinity Mapping

Friday, October 29 found us gathering in groups around our clients and sharing all our insights into the client’s life. Culling all those observations and then organizing them into clusters through affinity mapping will help us identify pain points, opportunities, or needs that we can solve to help the client and their neighborhood develop into powerful, thriving communities. Ryan will take it from here.

Ryan, Senior

The last few weeks our class has been moving towards a goal of working on empathy mapping and continuing to build our abilities to feel empathy for others to help solve personal problems. We have begun competing in the challenge to practice our empathy skills in more realistic situations. Our assignment was to watch a few character videos and pick a character that we felt most connected to. Each character had a completely different background, living in different conditions, different ages, and had different goals for their future. Although these people were diverse they all shared a common trait of wanting to improve their community. Personally I felt most connected to Sixto, a high school english teacher, who cares deeply for his family and young son’s upbringing. 

The step of the Design Thinking process that we reached in today’s class is the define stage. In this stage our group came together to share our ideas and define different aspects of the characters’ life that are recurring themes. We need to isolate a single issue to focus on and by doing this it helps the group to get an understanding of Sixto’s priorities and a better understanding of his main problems. We completed this task by using post it notes to share our ideas as seen in the photo above and then separating the similar themes into distinct piles. The result was that we had 5 themes- Community, work, family, gentrification, economic/financial issues. I’m excited to see how my group will continue to collaborate our ideas throughout the defining of the issue stage and the next stage of the Design Thinking process (Ideate).

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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