FormFire workers beginning to brainstorm What in the world is a design studio? A design studio workshop is a way to create a slew of different solutions to a design problem. Instead of having designers sit down and draft up a solution, it engages a much larger set of people from as many different parts of the company as possible. The goals of a design studio are to...

  • Collaborate as a team to solve a problem
  • End up with several good ideas and solutions

How did it work? Design Studio Process Round 1 We had 12 people from 6 different parts of the company participate in the activity. Each person worked by themselves to sketch 2 or 3 different solutions. They then drew up a final solution which reflected their best thinking based on their previous ideas. People spread through the office for this round. Some worked in their offices. Some worked in a public space with other people. As we fit the entire design studio workshop into an hour, the compressed time frame gave everyone 15 minutes to finish their individual design work. It was fast paced and as you can probably imagine, difficult to come up with 4 different ways to solve a problem. group ideas sketched out Round 2 People got together into groups of 3 (which we had already assigned), presented their best thinking and critiqued each idea. They spent about 12 minutes doing this and then another 8 minutes building one solution for the team. Each team filled a giant sheet of butcher paper with their designs. There were some great conversations happening in each team. It was fantastic to see people from completely different areas of the company working together. Team brainstorming   One team finalizing their ideas. Round 3 All four groups came together and selected a representative to share their solution with everyone. It took us about 15 minutes to walk through everyone’s ideas. Groups explain their ideas. What was the result? We ended up with 3 very different ways of solving the same problem. Two groups had a similar solution but even those had subtle differences from one another. It was fantastic to see the variety of thinking even at a group level. Here were some takeaways that people shared:

  • Excellent shared understanding of the problem we’re trying to solve
  • Interesting insights into the design/development process

The teams ideas posted on the board. team design