Friday, 27 May 2016

Final countdown

Testing behind us, still Final Pitching before us! Dreamers got reassured about concept itself, but there was still question of way to present it to wider audience on May 19 during Final Pitching.

The Dream Team had really got on getting ready, so string of regular meetings followed trip to Sastamala. Over the course of one week Dreamers gathered in different locations - UTA library, our apartments, unviersity cantines, even Sorsapuisto benches - to daydream and brainstorm together! After all, scientists has proved long ago that the more often you change your place to study, the more efficient you are. 

Not only new environment in spatial sense was deployed to boost our project - we have also adopted a "member correspondent" to give us constructive feedback on regular basis from "outsider perspective"!

All time and effort invested paid off when Fateful Final has come on May 19th. And so the story is as follows..

Dreaming in action - The Dream Team in Sastamala 2.0.

Who said that fieldwork is a dirty work? Well, Dreamers has own view on the subject after Sastamala Expedition 2.0. - it was thoroughly rewarding and inspiring experience leaving only pleasant memories.

Thanks to our friend, Eveliina, we were able to organize meeting with kids in one of afternoon hobby clubs (iltapäiväkerho) in Sastamala. Meeting was scheduled at 3pm, so whole morning Dreamers had devoted to add silhouettes an interactive edge and finish their wooden stands. 

This part has turned out to be a piece of cake after the Dream Team started to pack 1.70 cm figures into Matias' car. That was probably the greatest logistics-related challenge to date!

At first we wanted to come a little earlier to roam existing city parks and squares with figures and test also adult inhabitant's reactions! However, Dreamers being dreamers, we had to head right away to iltapäiväkerho - that's the natural order of things when you are choosing "shortest route" option instead of "fastest" just before crossroads with Hämeenkatu..

Comfort? Run with it! One ought to suffer for beauty of testing!

How many Dreamers are needed to make silhouette still?

 Even Patu is impressed with our car-packing skills!

 Bracing ourselves... end users are coming!

 Business as usual- Matias talks, all others listen. 

Testing was kind of turning point for us - our team has an opportunity to see that kids living in Sastamala are really responsive and enthusiastic about storytelling gardens and new playgrounds, and that they find silhouettes interactive and interesting enough to play with them!

The Dream Team is either going big or going home, so we have come up with idea of preparing truly pro video with architectural feeling to it for our final project partner meeting. To make it happen, we decided to take photos of Sastamala town center landscape enriched with our books-inspired figures on which basis video can be made. 

 The Dream Team gone bad, eh, undercover - left silhouettes in playgrounds and observe kids interacting from afar.

How little (relatively) effort you need to bring some life to your town center!

Mission completed, finally we can be childlish again!

Though expedition took more time than we initially expected, we were more than happy with received feedback. One achievement at the time, we are getting closer to get our dreams come true! 

Yet before embarking on another boat towards success, we needed to get some food not-for-soul-only in our favorite Sastamala establishment and discuss team's next move.

Because testing was done exactly a week prior to Final Pitching Event (on May 12th), the Dream Team had decided to enrich a pitch with testing day video - if potential end users reacted with such enthusiasm to our prototype, how audience and project partner can remain indifferent?

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Manual work comes before field work

Mid-Pitching has convinced us road we had taken is not so windy afterall! KIDS' CITY idea has been confirmed as legit and showing great promise. Yet expectations are even greater on the side of impartial observers but what about playground network's end users?
The Dream Team has decided that to go forward you need to take a step back - at least in spatial sense. Dreamers agreed that it is time to do some prototype testing with kids living in Sastamala and see how they will react to playground designs.

To say is easier than to do, as old folklore tell us. Making silhouttes was challenging task but very much fun-inflicting and rewarding one! Because all tools and materials needed could be found only on TUT architecture faculty, the Three Musketeers (Matias, Natalia and Yaniv) were virtually spending all their time in Hervanta. No regrets, however - result of their hard work are fabulous!

Find one difference between two pictures.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Middle it out! - or Mid-Pitching event

 No matter how well you are prepared - you will always be a little anxious before speaking in front of 50-odd people. And your perfectionism will always point out to some details that could be just slightly polished.

To avoid any second thoughts just seconds before pitch's beginning, we have been intensively discussing its structure and content on Facebook conversation for days. To ensure everything's in its right place, The Dream Team has also scheduled meeting right before the whole event started. Eli and Dominika,The Chosen One (for a Pitch Speaker), has arrived first to do "timer rehearsal" and check if Dreamer can deliver a speech in ONLY three minutes.

After that part, rest of the members has joined to deal with slide presentation double-checking. Though the Dreamers were exchanging remarks at speed of light and it could give impression of chaos, preparations were going smoothly.

And so did team's pitch! Maybe thanks to all members' effort, maybe thanks to good form the Dream Team has chosen - pitch went really well! Dominika did not exceed time limit; audience listened carefully; feedback from other teams and facilitators was positive and contained very few critical points.
Form was reflecting idea of storytelling gardens and playgrounds inspired by popular children books written by Finnish authors. The speech was actually a story about Sastamala 's to its "happily ever after"! (in role of white knight - The Dream Team members).

Who was no there present, still have a chance to make it up. On May 19th Final Pitching will take place in Mediapolis. You don't want to miss it, believe me!

Work hard, play hard! Undoubtedly we deserve some fun right now!

April 2nd, JAM 2nd

Lucky ones who attended first JAM should be eager to attend also its second edition! However, as every student's motto says "end of semester is coming" so everybody is getting busy with their classes and studying to exams. Fortunately, The Dream Team was well-represented and its members has truly enjoyed this Demola event on April 2nd, 2016.

Proper zooming is the key.

Speeches were delivered by guests and well-known Demola facilitators alike. We were discussing UX experience (can be useful when creating app!), storytelling and graphic design of slide presentations. The whole programme seemed specifically tailored to respond to participant's needs just before Mid-Pitching event. 

Each day brings new discoveries.

All remember Yuliya, one of Demola's faciliators, who has prepared wonderful Sherlock Holmes workshop for JAM#1. This time she has given equally inspiring presentation about storytelling and presenting team's ideas on pitching events. 

In addition to theoretical basics, all participants had a chance to practice pitching during Speed Date Pitching. Demola has also informed us about non-mandatory events like Testing Afternoon which can serve as rehearsal before the Big Day. 

Beside listening to our mentors, Dreamers were speaking their minds -  mostly concerning their own project. After each workshop we were exchanging thoughts and reflectiosn about how presented concepts are related to our Dream Town Center venture.

The Dream Team did not forget about having good time with other Demola teams because what brings people closer than similar sense of humour and delicious food?

Who asks will not get lost

Having decided around which idea our project is going to revolve, The Dream Team is putting much effort into meticulous polishing of details. However, the most daring dreams cannot come true without some down-to-earth advices and guidance. It is even more needed when JAM#2 is looming in the near future, Dreamers have cosulted not only Aino, indispensable facilitator, but also other Demola's workers for their opinion on preliminary designs and presentations. 

Since we are considering creating mobile app, Aino has advised us to contact Chaos Architects who are actively engaged in similar projects.


The Dream Team thrives under its facilitator's guidance.

When Natalia speaks, everybody listens carefully.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Spacetime bending according to the Dream Team

Another semester is coming to the end, so it is small wonder that in last week of March the The Most Frequently Asked Question was not "How to do it?" but "When we can meet?".

Time management-wise, Dreamers has decided to distribute tasks to everyone on team's board and meet in smaller groups if needed. One of such low-profile meet-ups has taken place on sunny Thursday, March 31st.

Project go like clockwork and so do we!

Beside discussing best locations for carrying out our project and discussing its implementation (which motifs could be used in elements of small architecture? how architecture will hint at town history and its traditions?), we were approached by fellow team from Demola Spring 2016 - "The Best Weather in the World". Guys asked us if they could pitch their project in front of us. We have been more than eager to help and readily agreed. After giving feedback on their app, we have chatted for a while and conversation that ensued proved equally inspiring for us,

Moreover, this experience reminded us that Mid-Pitching is just around the corner... Better brace yourselves!