Let me see! … what is VISION? (part 1 of 3)
CBi is the latest iteration of an evolving experiment at CERN in Geneva. The CBi acronym stands for “Challenge Based innovation”, and the experiment pulls in students from several countries and multiple disciplines. The Scimpulse Foundation collaborates with CERN since 2013 and in this occasion we facilitate a concept design workshop.
It’s a sunny September morning in Mayrin, the outskirts of Geneva, right on the side of the ATLAS experiment building there is a new shell enclosure where a bunch of students practice and learn about innovation.
Dr. Marco Manca is the coach of the team and he wants to make sure that they come out of the experience with a new mindset. That is where we come into play, literally.
The challenge is to design something that may enable blind people to perceive the surrounding environment; maybe some type of augmented sensory device.
We use the LEGO Serious Play* method combined with a bit of acted scenario, getting the group into a divergent thinking flow to co-create solutions beyond what the standard game-storming or design thinking methods may produce.
They call themselves the “Heisenberg” team. Entering the room I can feel the expectation from the group, curiously sitting around an improvised set of tables. I skip any introduction and immediately go on guiding them through the first half hour of rigorous LSP language training.
They fly through the training! From building a tower in 20 seconds, to making a story and using metaphors in a matter of minutes; faster than any group I have seen so far.
After announcing that now we were going to get serious, I pose the first question:
– I am going to ask you to go beyond the normal concept of blindness, starting from the opposite side … let’s build the model of:
What is Vision?
In a matter of minutes the models start coming up, It turns out that Vision is not only the capability to “See” with our eyes, but also an enabler, some sort of superpower that drives Decision, Choice, Selection, Trust, and Truth.
Our horizon expanded from the simple definition of “Sight”, to the more meaningful and all-inclusive concept of “Vision”.
From here we can start exploring the user point of view and find possible solutions, but that will require a simulation or a prototype, to have a first-hand experience of what the user may feel when is using a machine that helps hims or her in performing a simple task.
For more information about the science behind the LEGO Serious Play* method, follow this link: