When we participate in community projects, normally we would hold several workshops for community members before we come up with the design concepts; sometimes, it may has additional workshops for optimizing the concept.Since community design is slightly different from other type of projects, it has stronger connection to the residents and need to meet more demands. The most effective way to hear and gather residents’ voice is workshop. Here are some basic steps of design workshop:
1.Defining the goal of the workshop- what information do you want to know from the workshop? Any issues that need to be pointed out? What questions should we ask?
2. Designing a series of exercises helping people to consider the questions we asked and come up with appropriate opinions. Besides, exercises can be an efficient way to illustrate our purposes and ideas. They are the significant bridge which connect designers and residents.
3. Reviewing the results and discussing during the meeting, this offers the chance for us to reconsider our opinions after hearing other’s voice.
4.Visualizing the results and converting them into clear diagrams, then sending the feedback to residents. If necessary, starting to prepare the next workshop.
Struggling with our own ideas and blinding ourselves is one of the most horrible enemy to designer which would negatively affect our design decision. Questionary may be anther way to get people’s idea. It has, however, a drawback that information would lost during the process of transition. Workshop offers an valuable chance for designers and residents( or we can say “potential users”) to communicate face to face. In market, transition will increase the cost of products. Similarly, I believe there is also a “cost” for transition of information.
When I read the series of articles about I-732, I kept thinking why not create a online workshop which might provides more direct communication for both politician and citizens? With the technology today, it is not difficult to offer a platform or app for online workshop. Actually the mechanism of online workshop will be quite similar to online class. One principal is responsible for organizing the workshop; participants can share their opinions not only by text but also graphics or videos; a background program can filter the information by keywords and collect the most valuable ideas from participants. I can’t guarantee that such a workshop would work since there are so many participants and ideas, however, it at least offers an possibility for a large group of people communicate “face to face”.