That’s a very good question. This project has evolved and changed focus several times throughout the semester; with each iteration we came closer to our one true goal.
In the beginning, our client asked us to focus on three separate topics:
Encourage Family Making: Instead of focusing on the child, both the activities and the Teaching Artists will be able include the child’s accompanying family in on the craft. Most parents, grandparents, and pre-teen/teenage siblings do not interact as well with the space as they could. They will be somewhere between sitting back and avoiding all interaction or getting so involved that they forget about the child(ren) they are visiting the space with.
Include Transmedia Elements:The MAKESHOP should be able to produce arts and crafts activities that allow visitors to re-interpret across different mediums and take the project home with them in some capacity.
Explore Personal Narrative: The MAKESHOP allows guests to take what they’re making (and the personal narratives they have weaved within them) home to continue and finish. How could they expand upon that?
By halves (mid-way point of the semester), after visiting, observing, and through discussion with our client, it was decided upon that the group would focus entirely on encouraging family unit making in the MAKESHOP. Additionally, through more observation and play testing possible theories, we found that the best way to go about this goal was to shift focus from the guests who visited the space, to the Teaching Artists who ran and facilitated the exhibit.
As they themselves have been in and worked in the space far longer than the team has, they would be better at figuring out which solutions would work in expanding the MAKESHOP from just a “children’s” place to also act as a “family” place. Aristeia would be providing and consulting them on the information they would need to make those decisions.
Instead of providing them with a long and most likely extremely dense research paper to use as a resource, the team will instead take all of our knowledge of experience design, their past research on makerspaces, and our observations of family units functioning in the MAKESHOP and format it into an archetype model complete with designer reference cards, a self assessment survey, and a workshop to be presented at the end of the semester.
[ἀριστεία] – ancient Greek for “excellence,” particularly performing at the peak of one’s potential after a long struggle