Micro-teaching session. Object-based learning.

This full session was based on each tutors’ 10 minutes micro session that would demonstrate an activity around their specialist subject and provide experience to others of what different  teaching and learning methods are practiced by different tutors. each 10 mins session was designed around the object-based learning.

My session was thought to provide others with experience that BA Design for Branded Spaces students would have during their first year.

The session started with reading out a mini-brief  that everyone was given a copy of.

Mini-brief 

Design thinking through making. Visualising energy through movement and transformation. Conceptual model making workshop.

An UK based corporation has commissioned you to come up with various ideas for a concept of a permanent installation to be installed in their headquarters. Their main requirement is that all the concepts proposed engage the idea of ‘energy visualisation’.

In order to develop feasible concepts, you are required to consider making as the main tool for design thinking. By the use  of paper, masking tape and scissors you are asked to develop various ideas visualising the concept of ‘energy’. Begin with considering elements such as movement, tension, flexion (and more) and various ways that these may be represented through making. Consider visible and invisible aspects of the concept of ‘energy’.

The activity was based on using paper with addition of scissors and masking tape to visualise a specific concept. The main objective of this activity was to engage with the objects provided and utilise them as key tools to visualise ideas of ‘energy’. What I found interesting when the activity begun that everyone immediately started producing some three-dimensional forms. Some participants focused on one form and tried to complete more detailed vision and others decided to experiment with multiple forms. There was no brainstorming involved, no sketching or note taking.

I found that time restriction in this case worked as a favour and it resulted in everyone’s full engagement in producing multiple paper structures representing given concept. All the structures were different. There was a significant level of commitment to the task and it was interesting to watch everyone fully experimenting with given materials and making effort to represent their idea.

Conceptual model making (or what can be called ‘three-dimensional sketching’) is often used in my practice as I find it effective as a tool especially in early stages of developing ideas. It can usually be noticed that students are more eager to work this way in comparison with drawing for example, as they feel they can be less ‘perfect’ in the representation of their concept. I like to encourage this also to promote three-dimensional representations of ideas that can be potentially further developed using different medium (models can be sketched, photographed, scale can be manipulated etc.).

I the future I would like to practice this activity as a short session with my students as I have done it before with more extensive time allowance. I would like to test how students react to the time restriction as I believe the response might be more spontaneous and represent their vision is more ‘unstructured’ way, demonstrating initial response. The conceptual models produced in the short session could be further utilised in various forms, evaluated and developed in detail.

It was a great fun watching everyone’s engagement!