Tapping into the collective imagination of students to challenge ideas of what's possible, encouraging them to tell stories about future worlds and their roles within them.
User research & testing
Team: H Carriere, M Siu
In September 2018, I joined the My Meaningful Life project from eCampus Ontario's SXD Lab. With a team of wonderful human beings, we undertook what began as an exploratory project to help students understand themselves and their goals as they they undergo important transition phases in their educational journey, and turned it into a living prototype.
I joined in its second year, meaning that much (user) research had been done beforehand. In this round, my teammates and I worked on drawing important insights from the previous research and testing conducted and turning them into what it is today: a serious game for creative and critical reflection.
Decisions made today shape the ways in which the world will exist tomorrow. These decisions impact the lives and wellbeing of students. Thus, we felt it was important to not only create a tool for them, but to also understand how to empower them to create the futures they want.
How might we help students find ownership of the future so that they can create meaningfulness for themselves through the world around them?
Undiscipline is a creative tool that taps into the collective imagination of students to tell new stories about the futures they want.
On top of conducting research and interviews with students and educators, the structure of Undiscipline was formed by strategic foresight frameworks. This enabled the tool to provoke imagination for possible futures beyond our assumptions and perceptions of what should be, instead of what could be.
Photo: The Future Cone. Source: Joseph Voros, “A Generic Foresight Process Framework”, 2003.
Undiscipline is a serious game that requires little to no facilitation. It employs strategic foresight and design fiction techniques to take students through three phases of inquiry: Observing Change, Future Possibilities, and Present Action. Together, these three phases allow students to reflect on their past journeys, explore changes today and how they can manifest into potential futures, and then to give them agency to work towards the changes they want to see for themselves.
The living prototype/platform can be seen at www.undiscipline.space. The website was mostly used for demonstrative and presentation purposes, but details how the tool works as well as explains the main components of the game.
This project is currently ongoing, both in its scope and the project itself. However, I can already say that it's been a rewarding and interesting learning experience in terms of learning something new and dealing with a subject matter that I care about.
I'm very thankful for my teammates, who have taught me much about strategic foresight and less digital realms of design (thinking). It's been infinitely meaningful to design a tool beyond the digital sphere or beyond an interface, and to get down and strategize ways to target empowerment, agency, and handling the unknown. We ideated many different directions that Undiscipline could go into, and we're excited to see it (hopefully) come to life in a larger capacity.