The MAKESHOP at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh wanted our help in exploring how to facilitate family unit learning in their space. Aristeia has worked to design the Makerbox; a card deck containing resources that can be used in the designing of space, activities, and facilitation, to make that goal happen.
You may ask, why a card deck? During our observations of the MAKESHOP, and talks with its staff and our client, we found that a direct answer would not be the most useful for them for three reasons.
The MAKESHOP emphasizes process more than product. Both our client and the Teaching Artists wanted something that ran along that line of thinking; reasoning that it would resonate with the MAKESHOP's mission even more than the results of past ETC projects within the space.
This space continuously evolves every hour of the day and for new ideas and products, it's survival of the fittest. A direct answer may work one hour and then be tossed out the next. A resource that aids in this design process however would survive and thrive.
The staff who runs the activities at the MAKESHOP also designs them, the space layout, and the facilitation strategies. They have also worked in this space far longer then we have. After talking with them, Aristeia has concluded that the Teaching Artists would be the better source to decide which strategies work in facilitating family unit learning; a better usage of our talents and time would be to research and provide the information they need to consider in the pursuit of this goal. The card deck is essentially the result of our "consulting" efforts.