Sunday, July 18, 2010

Byron (DD+D) co-facilitates, The Marshmallow Challenge at the IxDA meeting/summer bash!

Event date: July 22, 2010 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm;

IDEO Chicago, 626 W Jackson Blvd., Floor 7, Chicago, IL 60661.

Event description: Come reconnect with your design community peers, commiserate over a summer of crazy clients, share stories, celebrate the sunshine, have a cocktail or two.

We will be doing The Marshmallow Challenge (learn more here: with prizes and food. Come for a fun evening with fellow designers and design appreciators!

Sponsored by IxDA, IDEO and Design Kitchen!
DD+D is a member of IxDA Chicago.

IxDA -

We had eight teams, five people per team, and a lot of fun!
This diverse group of designers, researchers, students, and entrepreneurs had 18 minutes to design the tallest freestanding structure using only spaghetti, string, tape, and ingenuity with a marshmallow on top.

As an entrepreneur, I know the importance of prototyping early, putting that “marshmallow” on top many times before it actually stands freely on a strong foundation. I thought this design exercise would teach the importance of prototyping and would also accomplish some of our IxDA Local Leaders goals.

The Marshmallow Challenge is an activity that required IxDA members to interact in different ways. Often we meet, listen and leave. This was our first attempt at breaking down some of the clicks and getting people meeting and working together on a fun design exercise. Our hope is to eventually introduce the group to community based organizations and their design challenges. IxDA Chicago would take on these design challenges as a way to expose the larger Chicagoland community to design thinking and its possibilities for changing institutions and individuals. We’ve discussed a conference featuring IxDA members as presenters and community based organizations as participants.

This user experience 101 conference would mean exposure to a style of thinking and doing that is much needed by many service based organizations. It’s also a great opportunity for IxDA’ ers to present and use their knowledge for a good cause.

As for our Marshmallow Challenge we didn’t have a winner within the time limit. However, one team was able to complete a freestanding structure minutes after the deadline. We heard explanations/excuses like, “It was gravity” “We started talking and time got away from us” “This can’t be done.”

Teams reported back that they found the Challenge thought provoking, useful and fun.

I suggest this exercise to design and non-design groups interested in team building, design thinking, prototyping , problem-solving and more.

( The Chicago area chapter of the global Interaction Design Association (IxDA) exists to bring together local area designers in all disciplines that overlap with interaction design, whether it be product, digital, space, research, or even business, that strive to create user-centered design solutions. This organization is volunteer-driven and always looking for sponsorship or hosts for upcoming events.If interested, please contact: )

Here are some pics from our Challenge at IDEO Chicago...

Aislinn Dewy, Senior Interaction Designer, IDEO and IxDA Local Leader
Byron Stewart, Owner, Design Lead DD+D Co-facilitators of The Marshmallow Challenge

No comments:

Post a Comment