Pause and Play (Engage Design Innovate Transform: EDIT)
The purpose of this project is to explore how to establish compatibility between design and build academia and community theory and practice, and learning and playing while looking at the relationship between culture and play.
The challenge was aimed to design and build an installation for the first Prototyping Festival for the city of Mesa. Unlike most prototyping festivals that often apply a top-down approach, we proposed to prototype the process rather than the object. We partnered with Porter Elementary, a Title I school in the city of Mesa school district, collaborating with 75 sixth graders.
Findings and Impact
At a time in which we are defined by the color of our skin or the shape of our eyes, we used play as an equalizer. We designed cross-generational activities as a way to expose our youth to reconnect with their own heritage. The participatory design process revealed common values among our youth partners. Their shared values included both physical and metaphorical experiences: a space to belong, a space of discovery, and the notion that we are all unique individuals but we are stronger and better when we come together. The design installation was inspired by these findings and curated the data collected from the activities with the sixth graders.