What do bananas have in common with ideas and design? Probably nothing obvious or explicit, but these are three words which may best summarize the highlights of our most recent work as a club. Hopefully the relationship will become clearer as you continue to read! We are a Madrid-based collective of design enthusiasts at IE University, and we have created a community for sharing resources, skills and stories in Human-Centered Design (HCD) as an approach to addressing human and business problems. Our audience is, primarily, professionals and masters-level students in the IE Community.
Max Oliva (Studio Banana)
Studio Banana, the “home of design-driven transformation” is an interdisciplinary design studio which develops bespoke solutions for change-seeking organizations. We were privileged to have Max Oliva, the Managing Director of the studio, as the keynote speaker of a recent seminar which we hosted under the title “Human-Centered Design and how it can add value to business”.
The event was a success, not least because of Max’s subtle yet infectious energy in sharing some of Studio Banana’s successes and failures in developing solutions for their clients who range from Fortune Global 500 companies to individual consumers. A particular favorite on the evening: one of Studio Banana’s most obscure, but certainly one of their most successful creations, the Ostrich Pillow.
In addition to sharing these captivating stories, Max also took some time to illustrate the processes and techniques that are applied by Studio Banana’s diverse, multi-disciplinary teams in delivering innovative products and experiences for their clients. This — the processes and techniques — is probably where the attendees of the seminar derived the most value from. Speaking of process, you now understand our initial reference to bananas! Trust the process!
Part of our mission as a club is to share the principles and practices of a “design mindset” with professionals and students who are from traditional fields, outside of design. To this end, we hosted a two-session Ideation workshop, over two days, last month.
The vibrant participants — about 30 students from various IE Masters programs — were given the challenge: “How might we help IE students to better recycle their trash?”
Over the course of the two days, we introduced various HCD tools such as stakeholder maps and brainstorming, to guide the participants in the ideation process, a process which generated over 100 ideas that varied as much in sophistication as they did in the potential impact for the school and the environment! Finally, we used a feasibility and impact matrix to narrow down to the best ideas.
It was both exciting and rewarding for us as facilitators to see the participants work through a real-life problem, which affects them and their immediate environment, and guiding them into generating cutting-edge ideas and proposed solutions.
· In keeping the momentum and a diverse appeal of programs, we will be hosting our next event on the 22nd of May. It will be a seminar themed: Customer research as a key factor for success. We will be joined by a team from SparkLab in Spain. SparkLab is the innovation lab of Dutch financial services company, Nationale-Nederlanden.
· Agile is one of the most sought-after skills in organisations today. On the 30th of May we will be hosting a seminar: Agile & the Design Process. Our two speakers for this event are experts in the areas of Digital Transformation and Experience Design. Both of them will join us from one the world’s most renowned consulting firms and will share best practices in Agile Methodology with us.
· In the middle of June, we will be hosting a workshop which will introduce participants to the fundamental theory of prototyping. Participants will be taken through the process of bringing to life, and into tangible form, ideas which need to be tested and validated in real life. We’ll be rolling up our sleeves and cutting things up for this one!
Until then, to reach out to us for a chat or to discuss new partnerships, you can find us on Instagram @iehcd or email email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org .
Bananas — Check, Ideas — Check, (Human-Centered) Design — Check!
Yours in Innovation
IE Human-Centered Design Club