From Prototype to Demo Pitch
Europe Code Week review
In the third edition of Europe Code Week we used three different sets of creative kits and sought to further develop our prototyping culture.
A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from. It is a term used in a variety of contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and software programming. A prototype is designed to test and try a new design to enhance precision by system analysts and users. Prototyping serves to provide specifications for a real, working system rather than a theoretical one. In some workflow models, creating a prototype (a process sometimes called materialization) is the step between the formalization and the evaluation of an idea.
The word prototype derives from the Greek πρωτότυπον prototypon, “primitive form”, neutral of πρωτότυπος prototypos, “original, primitive”, from πρῶτος protos, “first” and τύπος typos, “impression”.
Having spent the last 2 months deepening their understanding of html via tools such as Mozilla Webmaker’s X-Ray Goggles and designing and remixing Scratch projects students were presented with some Makey Makey’s, a box of Little Bits and two Thymio robots together with an assortment of recycled odds and bobs, lego and lots of tape!
The open design brief was ‘to make something to do something’.
The expectation was that after two hours of tinkering and playful experimentation each team would deliver a demo pitch of their creation explaining their thought processes and how their design functioned.
Here’s a montage of what they did.
There is something quite special about making things together. Ideas grow as we start to build and connect thoughts, conversations develop as we relax in this ‘designers space’ and a feeling develops that ‘anything is possible’.
The recent article published by Technology Will Save Us describes how the process of making things deepens our understanding of technology- a concept we wanted to get across to both educators and students throughout this week.
Since the first Europe Code Week, the ideas of making, coding, developing web literacy and inventing have been embedded throughout our curriculum, adding prototyping and the demo pitch now has provided students with a meaningful ‘start up’ experience and provided them with further opportunities to reflect on learning, to redesign and remix projects where mistakes are embraced, indeed encouraged.
The end result was an engaged team of young designers, enjoying building things together, excited about their next learning adventure.