As part of their Masters program a group of design management students are doing an intensive ‘module in a week’ to take a project involving the sensors from idea to prototype. On Monday 19th February they travelled to Blackburn to meet a group of volunteer older residents of the area in order to learn more about their lives and motivations in order to understand their potential needs and incorporate them into their projects. Included in the workshop were design students from Blackburn University.
After a short briefing our volunteers were asked to choose which area (frame) they would like to discuss with the students, the frames were
- Everyday Life
- Friends and family
- Would love too…
- Oh no, that’s a pain
The students then divided into four groups, Masters students plus at least one Blackburn student (who took on the role of reporters), to discuss these areas with our volunteers, gather information, make observations, gauge reactions, and document their findings.
During lively discussions the students gained valuable insights into the lives of the people who would potentially have sensors installed in their homes.
This module will continue throughout the week with the Masters students working together in groups in the Imagination Lab. On Friday afternoon there will be a formal presentation of each project with prizes awarded for the most imaginative and the most commercially viable. One of our project partners, Ken Barnsley from Blackburn with Darwen Council, will help judge the competition.