Workshop Q&A: Prototyping Throughout the Design Process

1. Why did you choose to attend this workshop?
The Center for Socially-Engaged Design works with students who want to make a conscious effort to design and engineer for a more sustainable, inclusive, and culturally-accepted future. As a part of BLUElab, I looked into their online programs and came across many workshops that can be done online with an in-person coaching session at the end to complete the training.

2. What were the goals of the workshop?
The goals of this workshop are to have an understanding of what prototypes are and what they do, demonstrate the iterative value of prototyping throughout the design process, understand when and how to use different types of prototyping techniques, recognize the limitations of prototyping, recognize and utilize best practices in prototyping, and evaluate your prototypes to inform and improve your design.

3. What's the best/coolest thing you learned during the workshop?
One of the best things from this workshops was learning that prototyping can help in so many aspects of the design process than just the concept phase. It really opened up on how much prototyping can relieve the stresses that comes with many parts of the design process.

4. What can you do now that you couldn't before?
I think the mindset of encouraging play with prototypes is something that I was lacking. It is so important to also build bonds with those that you work with, and bringing everyone to the same level is key. A group of students that are interacting and playing with prototypes and prototype materials are much more likely to understand what the others are attempting to communicate, while have more fun and being at ease. I believe this tactic is useful for the Design Lab, and I hope to implement it more in my consultations.

5. Why would you recommend this workshop to someone else?
I would recommend this workshop to anyone who wants to know how prototyping is. Any of the CSED workshops can be found at csed.engin.umich.edu, and I highly recommend visiting the site and looking through all of the workshops! They are free and have great material.
 

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