On the 7th of March, I had the pleasure of conducting a workshop as part of the Form, Aesthetics, and Meaning Making course at Konstfack College of Arts, Crafts, and Design. The aim was to introduce the theory of Design Naturally to a group of ten participants, including Industrial design Ph.D. candidates and design researchers. Seven of the participants had no prior exposure to the project, which added an element of novelty to the session.
The workshop spanned a total of 3 and a half hours, held in a simple room with a large rectangular table and chairs. Unlike my previous workshop in 2012, I had the opportunity to be present in person this time, enabling me to closely observe the participants’ engagement with the material.
Beginning with a brief introduction about myself, I proceeded to present the theory of Design Naturally, taking approximately 45 minutes to cover all aspects before a short coffee break. Due to time constraints, I made the decision to skip the hands-on exercises related to Design Naturally Principles.
After the break, I introduced the form-giving method and provided the participants with a selection of products to initiate their redesigning process. The available items included two different lighters, a hard disk, one iPod classic, a metric ruler, and a flash memory. While the first two steps of the form-giving process, namely writing the growth story and the use story, posed some confusion for the participants, they found it helpful to collaborate in pairs to work through these steps.
With an allotted time of nearly 40 minutes, everyone focused on completing the first four steps, reserving the remaining time for the final two stages involving the application of forces and shaping the final objects. Initially, many participants were keen on working in pairs, but to my delight, all of them successfully crafted their individual clay models based on unique narratives by the end of the workshop.