Beyond the “Making” point

Yesterday, I officially completed my master’s degree. Many people asked me what my favorite class was in the program? I honestly don’t know. The reason I don’t is because when I think about this one-and-a-half year journey, all I could think about is the practical field work I’ve done, not necessarily what I studied in a classroom.

My last design research project was on innovation and collaboration where I conducted ethnographical research in our MakerSpace. I spent hours and hours observing activities happening in the Space, interviewing people, sending out survey. Coupled with previous researchers’ findings, I still felt it was not enough to make the Space serve its purpose — providing a space that is both resourceful and encouraging for students to innovate collaboratively. During one of the meetings with the professor who leads the research, she told me that perhaps it is time to think beyond the Space. Huh?

Very often, we are very focused on the product and the service that we designed and forgot the whole ecosystem and customer journey. In this case, collaboration and innovation actually don’t just happen in the Space. It is the “motivation” that begins prior to entering MakerSpace and the continuous thinking and networking beyond the Space will complete the journey.

Having trained and worked on service design project before, I seemed to forget the essence of looking at the holistic journey and all possible touchpoints. I was very focused on the touchpoints in the Space and forgot it was just as important to look beyond. Once I began to explore touchpoints beyond the Space, I was able to organize my learnings and helped theming different Makers with different purposes which made it easier to design programs that will empower them to accomplish what they aim to do in MakerSpace.

Note to self — remember to always look beyond the “making” points!

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