IDI Class
Umea Institute of Design

My role
Creating a Workshop
Colaborating with different Nations
Facilitate the working process

General Info
Nicholas Baroncelli Torretta
Catharina Henje
SS 2018
Service Design
Exchange Semester

This cocreation workshop was about establishing the role of Malå in Lapland. We provided design methods to create ideas together with the local citizens.

The Challenge

Communication is key We faced different challenges during this project. One of them was to create a workshop with 19 students. When planning the workshop, we divided our course in five groups, each designing on step. The difficulty was to coordinate the individual steps. The communication between the different groups was essential to make the workshop follow a common thread at the end.

Role of a facilitatorAnother challenge was to facilitate a workshop with international participants who have different levels of education, language skills and age. In addition, it was a new experience to create an atmosphere in which everyone feels comfortable and free to contribute to the workshop tasks.

Background of participants A specialty was the background of the citizens we worked with. Sami are the only indigenous people in Europe, living in the north of Scandinavia. Some participants belonged to this ethnic group, others did not. This was a trigger for some conflicts of interest in the discussions.

Our Strategy

Task 1 | Collect Information

Material: Quotes and statements from our research

Task: Kick off a discussion by using provided quotes and statements from our research about Mala.

Comment: Sharing stories and exploring the background of the other group members.

Output: Decide on a Topic.

Task 2 | Evaluate

Material: “Target Map”

Task: Analyse the topic from task 1 and create keywords for different issues. Place them on the “target map”. Important problems are placed in the middle, less important or unimportant points around the second and third circle. 

Comment: This tool helped to sort different aspects and make a decision.

Output: What is the most relevant problem in Mala for this group.

Task 3 | Go Wild

Material: Capabilities and limitation cards

Task: Develop crazy ideas for the issue detected in the stage before. Choose on of the prepared capability card like: “You own a constration company” and one of the limitation cards like: “Everyone is in a wheelchair”. Write your ideas on post its.

Comment: Based on these factors it was easier for the participants to think out of the box and create unconventional ideas. This task should be fun. All ideas, no matter how unrealistic, were allowed.

Output: Choosing the most interesting “wild” idea.

Task 4 | Narrow down

Material: Geometrical shapes

Task: Evaluate advantages and disadvantages of the crazy idea and transform this idea into a more realistic one. Visualize the thoughts through simply geometrical shapes gluing on paper.

Comment: Quick and dirty visualizations help to talk about topics and open up areas that still need to be clarified.

Output: Choose one of the realistic ideas.

Task 5 | Concept Details

Material: “relevance mountain”

Task: Think about a service concept and the different details which should be considered in the realisation of the idea from the task before. Therefor use the “relevance mountain”. What are the “must haves” to implement the idea. Write it on the bottom of the mountain, what are the “nice to haves” write it on the top.

Comment: It was ideal to use this tool to develop the idea further and to identify points for the implementation.

Output: A detailed concept.

Individual reflection | Learnings

For me it was the first time to facilitate a workshop. The most interesting part was to see how people, who are not from the design field, work with abstract tasks. As a facilitator, patience and the art of explanation are required. It is important to get a feeling when the discussion is going in the wrong direction and when you should lead them back to the task. We learned how important it is to create an environment where you can as questions, have crazy ideas and collaborate together.