By: Aria Patel

The create part of the design process has been both energizing and challenging. Ideating above and beyond our constraints and realities allowed us to think up solutions that might never have crossed our minds without the open design process. This freedom and creative space gave me a lot of energy and hope. At the same, narrowing down to an idea out of a garden of attractive ideas that each hold value and good intention was very hard. The team had to rethink and revisit out ‘How Might We’ statement and stakeholder problem areas to come to a consensus. 

A large part of the final step of our ideation process was the “yes, and” method. It allowed our ideas to become study and durable rather than fragmented and spread thin. We were able to build off of each other’s thoughts and concerns, merging and mixing elements in different amounts until we figured what worked best. This was such an exciting process especially when ideas fit perfectly together! 

Above all, this week of the open design process has taught me what it means to work in a team. In addition to focusing outwards to our stakeholders, we were also looking inwards to what made sense, created meaning and was purposeful to each of us. As we struggled and celebrated through our ideation process, we better understood each other, our collective lived experiences, our strengths, and what makes each person think as they do. This understanding will definitely help us exponentially further down the process in the coming weeks.