The Explore workshops are hands on exercises that require no technology tools (other than camera to document the work):

Radial Pattern Design

Students explore distilling the uniqueness of their local community into patterns. Students write statements detailing how their designs represent their community. These patterns will later be used in Google SketchUp as surfaces on student designed bus shelters. See student examples here and lesson plan here.

Why Patterns? Patterns can inform us of who we are and where we are. The seemingly insignificant visual cues in our daily lives anchor us to place and community in a way our maps do not. In the Radial Pattern Making exercise you will distill your community in pattern and reflect on your design in an artist statement.

Models of Bus Shelters

Students explore collaboratively building conceptual models of multipurpose bus shelters. Students write statements explaining the community social, economic or environmental needs they are addressing in their designs. See lesson plan here for cardboard models and here for 3D virtual models lesson plan and the 3D student samples from 2011-2012 academic year.





Why Bus Shelters? Bus stops are existing hubs in our communities. Sometimes they have shelters over them and sometimes they do not. How can you creatively re-envisioned shelters so that these waiting spots become something more for your community? How  can the bus shelter you create address contemporary needs of your community?


Why cardboard prototypes? Brainstorming design problems in three dimensional space can facilitate collaboration and discussion around design ideas. Cardboard is cheap and an easy recyclable material to use. Later, we will move to the digital realm for design work in Google SketchUp.

Example 1: Below is a video of an engineer who uses cardboard to create prototypes of structures in her work.

Example 2:  Innovative design processes. The Stanford d school model below highlights design process steps: 1. identify need, 2. empathy with need, 3.”ideation” (visualize and brainstorm potential solutions and 4. prototyping in multiple scales (this is an iterative process)

Vend Ring Machine by Alexandre Ginet, a Stanford Management Science & Engineering student from France.















The Vend Ring Machine: “Our assignment was to ‘redesign engagement’. I interviewed a couple of men who all seemed to be very attached to the importance of the ring, and the burden it represented to actually go out Ring shopping. It seemed like a frightening experience to them. I tried to think of a way to transform the purchase of a ring into a very common, almost fun experience, away from conventional standards. So I came up with the idea of this prototype. The building lasted probably 2 hours. I used, cardboard, nails, rope, hot glue guns, and that was very fun.” -Alexandre Ginet

Copyright: Corinne Takara (CC BY-NC 2.5)

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