IED Istituto Europeo di Design Barcelona
Bachelor of Arts Fashion Design – Fashion Management Program
Ideation Workshop, January 2018-21
This is my fourth year collaborating with Professor Elena Salcedo at IED and working with this unique group of bachelor fashion design students. Each January Profesor Salcedo leads her students through an intensive one-month process to develop business ideas within the fashion industry. I am invited into their design process in the second week once students have completed field research.
In my 3-hour ideation workshop students are briefly introduced to the Design Thinking Methodology. Then, we turn the focus to ideation techniques to generate solutions for the problems they previously identified. Their unique projects benefit from the use of such tools as: the empathy map, identifying themes & insights, bad ideas for good, mash-ups, rapid brainstorming, and, finally, harvesting ideas.
Participant Results & Insights
Each year I encounter a dynamic group of students with new projects focused on important issues in the fashion industry. This year was no different. Projects focussed on issues such as gender neutral wedding attire, safer clothing materials for outdoor work-wear, sustainability in design education.
While working with the empathy map, their greatest insights came from understanding what they did not know about the context for design. This led to a deeper framing of the problems they were trying to solve.
Regarding idea generation, they found new inspiration using mashups and bad ideas, which allowed them to move away from conventional thinking patterns.
When working with bachelor students an important part of the learning process is guiding them through a deeper understanding of their context in the design process. Through years of experience I have observed the disconnect beginner students have with the context surrounding the problems they observe. Spending some additional time with them in this space supports a more fluid design process. A deeper understanding of the context leads to richer idea generation.