Shipping out Product Experiences for Exploration

Client

EXPLOStudio

2016-18, Norwood, MA

Tags

Capability Mapping; Needs Alignment; Product Roadmaps; Product Prototyping; Product Sketches; User Testing; Capacity Building; Process Documentation; Woodshop; Rapid Prototyping Tools

Islands of feedback

I created an interactive map of our work so that we could connect our objectives to relevant feedback and then see similar areas come together.

Cardboard

I created 3D poster displays exhibiting the various useful techniques when manipulating the wondrous material.

Claws!

I designed, laser cut, and tested different claw configurations to empirically evaluate the better mechanism for grabbing, holding, and releasing salt and pepper shakers (for a biomechanic prosthesis).

Pin up

I facilitated a pin up with sketches of leading ideas from the team ideation session.

Eggs over easy

I prototyped a design for an adaptation to a pirate hook so that our pirate could easily pick up, shake, and release the pepper shaker.

Visual Notes

I made it a practice of taking visual notes during team sessions so we could easily track our progress, our learnings, and our next steps.

Chandelier

I prototyped hanging fixtures for our uranium orbs (aka retired tennis balls) that could be created out of humble materials and tools in the classroom.

We're hooked.

I prototyped pirate hook attachments, constantly searching for the simplest design with fewest moving parts and repeatable dependable performance.

EXPLO-packaging

Along with writing a full set of curriculum, I prototyped a suite of packaging products meant to encase and exhibit the tennis ball like never before. I later adapted this unit for a teaching residency at the Berkshire Academy.

The Challenge

I was a founding member of a 6-person start up studio with big dreams for education. I was tasked with designing experiences that propelled students and teachers to be curious, brave, critical makers in the classroom. With the constraints of a public school classroom budget we transformed humble materials into appealing narrative-based engagements and then created world-class professional developments to capacitate the teachers that would deliver them. 

The Process

I took curriculum projects from conception to execution— sketching them in my notebook, prototyping them in our woodshop, and then testing them in real classrooms with real 6th grade critics (they really have no filter). I listened for teachers’ needs and created engaging experiences for students to meet their educational goals and aligned our delivery with ease for the teachers doing the delivery. I was invited to represent our studio in a teaching residency for an independent prep school, and elected to serve as the ambassador to a residential bioengineering program for girls. 

Results

Users showed engagement in the material like never before. Our teachers emerged feeling capable and confident in applying this new flavor of curriculum. Our social media presence grew by 400%. Our quality of work grew our studio to become a consortium of schools seeking our consulting services.

TESTIMONIAL

"Jessica is unique in her ability and willingness to let go and iterate on even her favorite ideas. She is highly receptive to feedback and returns to the slate, again and again, often cleaning it off entirely to meet the client's goals. For some designers, critique, though welcome, feels challenging. For Jess, it's fuel.

 

Jess excels at rapid prototyping, and her intuitive ability to sketch in real-time makes her thinking visible for both team members and clients alike.

 

She is quick to solve but, more importantly, quick to see and share multiple solutions, which allows a team to think in many directions and imagine a wide range of outcomes.

 

Perhaps the very best thing about working with Jessica is her natural curiosity. Regardless of the design challenge, her default setting is inquiry, and she uses questions to drive every investigation and process."

Dave Hamilton, Creative Director (and direct supervisor), EXPLOStudio