We plan to hold DesignAction.bdg, an international conference/workshop on Design Thinking, but not all of us have a design background, nor are familiar with conventional design process, and most of us have never experienced Design Thinking approach. Therefore, as one of the pre-events that precede DesignAction.bdg, we held an internal workshop on Design Thinking, by inviting Amelia Hendra (ex-IDEO Shanghai) to be the facilitator. This workshop consisted of an introduction about Design Thinking, then an exercise to use the method within the context of urban mobility issues. It is like doing a simulation of the actual DesignAction.bdg event in a smaller scale.
The workshop was held on April 5-6, 2013, attended by about 30 participants. In the first day, Amelia introduced herself. It helped that she was born in Indonesia (originally from Pontianak, West Kalimantan), so Indonesian language was used the whole time. During this workshop, she was assisted by Adi Panuntun, founder of Sembilan Matahari and co-founder of Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF), a movie maker/ video mapping creator who pursued his study in Design Thinking at Northumbria University, UK. The participants are organizing members of/ contributors to DesignAction.bdg event that came from different backgrounds and communities in Bandung, such as Riset Indie, Labtek Indie, Sahabat Kota, Vidour, GrowBox, Sembilan Matahari, KreativeLab, Fight.BDG, ITB (from School of Business and Management, Faculty of Art and Design, and Architecture Department) and UNPAR. Amelia proceeded with giving an overview about Design Thinking method and examples. The participants came up with questions, whether the Design Thinking phases should start from a certain point or if it can be started anywhere, about “extreme users”, and discussed the importance of “reframing”, since this is practically the most important skill required in the process. Lunchtime was filled with a documentary video about Curitiba, which inspires us all: that with few resources we should still be able to move and make changes. The day ended with an assignment that required the participants to break into groups and started a fieldwork: Understanding urban mobility through the lens of Bandung. The participants should map out design challenges: map out key stakeholders, list out interview questions, and divide tasks with team members.
1 Observe & Understand: Not only about being creative | But also about being empathetic
2 Reframe: Does not start with the answers | But about asking the right questions
3 Ideate: Not only for designers | But also for problem solvers and optimists
4 Prototype: Not only about designing and thinking | But also making, learning, and sharing
5 Co-design: Not only about perfection | But also about perspectives
In the second day, the process was continued and completed, up to prototyping and sharing phases. There were four groups, each took a different focus: angkot (a public minibus that serves as a public transportation method that dominates Bandung), pedestrian, DAMRI (city bus) and PKL (mobile food vendors that often cover a parcel of roads and sidewalks). As a closing, each group presented their findings and solutions, all in role-playing, and it was obvious from this phase that everyone enjoyed the workshop. It was a pleasant way to identify actual Bandung mobility problems from different viewpoints, to exercise all forms of creativity and to come up with recommendations that might be solutions for the problems.
The groups proposed products, systems, programs and activities that might release some burden related to mobility and traffic, at different scales. Some might need conventional way of infrastructure improvements, but most could actually be implemented without requiring substantial financial capital and complex bureaucracy, and could be succeeded as long as networks and collaboration among local people and communities are available.
An impression from a participant (Ronaldiaz from Agritektur): Collaboration is an important key point, since this workshop was joined by people with multidisciplinary background. If one participant from each discipline could contribute one solution from his/her field, by collaborating we would be able to give a comprehensive solution. The power of collaboration is indeed frightening!
Thanks to Amelia and everyone involved in the workshop! We had fun – a productive kind of fun – which what we of young productive age actually need, to be able to respond innovatively to endless problems faced by our urban environment.
The results of the four groups were all presented at the next Pre-Event of DesignAction.bdg, PechaKuchaNight.BDG that was held on Sunday evening, 26 May 2013.