As AYSC for the first term, MYOB was my first choice for the second term. Richard’s presentation of the field project was, once again, energetic and motivational and got me really enthusiastic from day one. Up until the star though, I was worried about the group I would end up in considering my previous project where I worked alone for the most part but in this case I was more worried about having to eventually redo other people’s work if they would not care to do it at their best. And here Richard surprised us all making us choose who we wanted to work with. It only took my group a few minutes to come together because some of us recognised each other from the chair project. It was quite funny because we remembered seeing each other every day, so we trusted we would be committed to our work, but since we never had a free moment to talk before, this was the first time that we introduced ourselves and finally learned each other’s names. The second thing that united us was the desire of having a mixed group with different skills and not just sticking with people we already knew, which it would have mostly been from our own class. This is how we ended up being two Product Designer (Dan & Paul), a Textiles (me), A Graphic Designer (Ally) and our latest addition, a Maker (Maite, Richard’s second surprise 🙂 ).
The first days were mostly about getting to know each other, partly as individuals but mostly as a group. Identifying our values was an important first step in understanding our mind set toward the goal we were pursuing but it also said much about our personalities. It was interesting to see how all of us chose Honesty in each ones top five values and all with different interpretations. Honesty towards reliable source of materials for the product, as a communication to the customer about the process and materials etc. while I chose it as an interpersonal value between the team members since I consider sincere and direct communication to be healthy and constructive. A critic is always welcomed where accompanied by valid arguments while withholding a contrasting opinion can easily lead to a negative atmosphere and potentially tear the group apart. We then immediately agreed on the other three values: Product Value, Product Life Cycle and Quality.
Our brainstorming and active communication started right away and we were full of ideas since the beginning. The more we talked, the bigger the list to chose from so after two long days spent analysing and improving every single idea that crossed our minds, we ended up presenting a category of a product we had no idea how it was going to look like while the other teams had already a whatever prototype or drawing about theirs. This was the first moment I/we understood that we were a group of strong personalities where we had to give it all in a conversation to convince the others that our idea was somehow worth taking into more consideration. We came across key chains, key holders, fancy coasters, we discussed a good couple of hours about glasses and how they could look like, wooden shot glasses with holder… to name a few. We decided to do each one a list of 5 favourite ideas, as we did with the values, and the desk organiser came out in each one. The second step was then to come up with a design idea and here the group had also different ones. As a response to this I decided to gather two pictures from everybody, put them in a questionnaire and go around the school asking staff and students some basic question as which one they preferred and why, colours and costs etc. I was happy to observe that for the best or for the worst (we’ll see it in the end) my idea of a vertical modular organiser encountered 13 preferences out of the 15.
Then our Graphic Designer Ally made an online version to reach more people at once and gather more effective result.
Even though animated, the group’s communication was always respectful and we all gave each other space to talk freely. This is where I understood that we have the potential to be a great team.