D3@PSP: Digging Deeper through MPLS architecture!

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This week in D3, although we had a lull in numbers (4-6 teens per session), we had opposite outcomes in progress! Building off of last week’s session at JOYCE where the teens learned how to define ‘design’ within a 2D perspective, we wanted to understand a 3D perspective to apply to our cart design! With our newfound warm weather, we went offsite both nights to use Minneapolis and it’s architecture to help us dig deeper into learning to identify the word ‘design’ in a 3D perspective.

On Tuesday, we began with an amazing icebreaker game called “Honey, I Love You…” that allowed a new teen to get involved with other teens right away, awesome! with writing our problem statement and Beau teaching the teens how to draw a simple 3D blueprint of the cart. This allowed for the teens to really see angles, “usable space” and define the parts of the cart. We spent the second half of the session walking to the Guthrie Theater (guthrietheater.org), a magnificent and intelligently designed building to try to reverse-engineer the building and its form. Beau had studied the building in school and Emily’s dad’s company built it, so it was really great to have the teens identify a characteristic of the building and try to figure out its reasoning. We were able to help guide them when they were stuck, but for the most part, they seemed to understand the unique design and one-of-a-kind features! This trip also doubled as an off-site cart test, where we documented each failure of the cart’s current design. We had markers spilling out into the street, papers flying away and teens complaining about the weight of the cart… we have lots of issues to address!
On Wednesday, we polished the simple 3D drawing we drew on Tuesday and made many copies of it to dive into the aesthetics of the cart. To tie back into our activities at JOYCE, we discussed what D3 represents as a whole, what kind of feeling D3 has and how they would describe the program to others. This led into a couple rounds of letting the teens design the cart on paper using their polished 3D drawings. We organized a full-on peer critique, explaining what criticism sounds like vs. constructive criticism. We expected a few road blocks with this activity, as many of the teens had never experienced a formal critique, but we were pleasantly surprised by the teens’ respectful and helpful comments toward one another’s work. We packed our stuff up and walked to Gold Medal Park, just outside the Guthrie campus, and edited our blueprints using our critique comments, using the fresh air and sunshine to fuel our designs!

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The D3 Lab is a collaboration between the Pearson Foundation's New Learning Institute, COMMONstudio design consultancy, and Nightingale Middle School in Los Angeles. It is one part idea lab, one part design and production facility, and one part "do tank." It is a place where students come to nurture and cultivate ideas, tackle big and small problems, and take action.

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