A&E History Design Jam at Parsons

Starting a new idea is in many ways difficult. But the students at Parsons have the skills and attitude that prepare them to rise to the challenge. A&E Networks is collaborating with Parsons School to host a three-day intensive design jam. The jam, co-presented with NYC Media Lab, ask students to create, prototype, and document an idea centered on the theme of history. Mentors from A&E and Parsons Faculty helped student conceptualize their ideas. The final outcomes requirements include a mobile component, user-generated content, and an educational component in the form of a presentation or video.

Students break into teams of four or five to brainstorm ideas using mind maps, collaging, and other visual aids to image the user journey. I mentored teams through multiple rounds of sketching and revisions for their concept. Many students already have research on existing technologies and tools such as, Google VR and the InVision App prototyping tool. I was curious to why and how each team of students choose their method of tools for prototyping.  One team claimed the need for a flexible writing tool such as, sticky notes or paper, was the best form of prototyping given the short amount of time they have for the Design Jam. The students were able to quickly transfer their ideas onto paper and rearrange them into a user scenario for a mobile application or a VR narrative for special experiences. I observed students wire framing and creating sketches such as, a mobile application or the interior of a home.