Since the beginning of this year we started working with students from the Faculty of Engineering at a Chilean university, the purpose is to develop their entrepreneurial and innovative capacity by connecting them with creativity. An important part of this program is that they experience things from another perspective, to live new situations in changing scenarios; that they can identify opportunities and translate them into concrete actions, working as a team, to think with their hands, and learn of the own discoveries and another’s.
The first step is to accompany them to get out of the comfort zone and to achieve this we design a practical exercise.
EXERCISE “THE ZONE”
Without giving any information, at the beginning of the class we ask them to be organized in groups of 10 students. Each had to wear blindfolds and accompanied by 5 teammates who cared not have accidents, they had to walk from the door of the University to the classroom without looking.
This is a walk they do every day, but this time we forced them to do without the sense of sight, which would generate a series of reactions and emotions in them. Once they got to the classroom, we invite them to sit at the tables where the Lego pieces were and we asked them to build an Individual Model of them Perceptual Experience, then tell the story of that journey.
The exercise was very significant since students sharpen their senses on both the walk and at the time of building. As never, Models were loaded with emotions. Construction was the heart of the experience. Some were scared or frustrated for not remembering the way, others were disoriented.
Empathy was generated from practical experience, allowing them to connect with the responsibility of being part of a community and also with satisfaction that delivers surpass themselves and achieve the goal.
Finally we reflect on the experience and decided to work, using Design Thinking to design positive experiences for students and disabled members of the University. The prototypes will be built with Lego bricks.
Translated by: Anais Gwynn. Photos: www.llavecreativa.cl