Abstract

Learning by doing has proven its efficacy in the educational field and, in this context, prototypes may play a key role. If used in an active way, provocatively diverging from their representative function design models can lead to different and lateral thinking modalities. They can provide inspiration for unpredictable paths and, potentially, innovation. A similar approach towards the purpose of prototypes in the design process has already been undertaken by professionals, from renowned Italian designers to contemporary architects. Yet, this contribution is based on a daring contamination from literature experimenters whose methods originate from strict and almost absurd rules. Their aim is to stimulate creativity in an apparently playful and even serendipitous activity. In particular, the paper refers to a three-years educational experience assessed in a Project Foundations Studio of an Interior Design course at Politecnico di Milano. Hence, the developed and employed approach is described and its results discussed, outlining how effectively the use of prototypes as active tools of the design process can liberate students’ imagination and change their attitude towards the designing of interior spaces. Even though the described approach may present some limits, the aim of this argumentation is to illustrate the different contribution a prototype can give in future applications.

Keywords:

subversive prototypes, learn by doing, design method, design through the prototype, thinkering

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Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

Bundles of Spatial Ingredients: Designing Through the Prototype

Learning by doing has proven its efficacy in the educational field and, in this context, prototypes may play a key role. If used in an active way, provocatively diverging from their representative function design models can lead to different and lateral thinking modalities. They can provide inspiration for unpredictable paths and, potentially, innovation. A similar approach towards the purpose of prototypes in the design process has already been undertaken by professionals, from renowned Italian designers to contemporary architects. Yet, this contribution is based on a daring contamination from literature experimenters whose methods originate from strict and almost absurd rules. Their aim is to stimulate creativity in an apparently playful and even serendipitous activity. In particular, the paper refers to a three-years educational experience assessed in a Project Foundations Studio of an Interior Design course at Politecnico di Milano. Hence, the developed and employed approach is described and its results discussed, outlining how effectively the use of prototypes as active tools of the design process can liberate students’ imagination and change their attitude towards the designing of interior spaces. Even though the described approach may present some limits, the aim of this argumentation is to illustrate the different contribution a prototype can give in future applications.

 

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