What would a school look like if young people and children were designing it? That is what we were trying to find out in this project. For a whole term, I was working with students of the Berlin Bilingual Secondary School in our Design-Thinking-Kids-Club on making their school an even better place.
The Club aimed to raise the creative confidence of its members and teach them tools to enable them to shape their surroundings. Not only because this is useful for their future, but also because we were curious about their ideas.
Based loosely on Design Thinking methods, the open process steered towards a goal decided on by the students. My role consisted of structuring the design process and moving it towards atangible result. The activities of the club were documented in detail on the project website www.design-thinking-kids.de (in German).
How can we improve daily life at our bilingual secondary school? The students of year eight and nine edged their way towards answers with practical exercises in weekly workshops. After intensive field studies, the students defined their own challenge: How can we create and run a food dispenser in the school, so that students do not go hungry anymore? And how can we make it useful for the whole school?
We bought an old dispenser on Ebay and the students started cleaning it and testing what items would fit into it.
Then they worked on designing the appearance of the automat and came up with a name for it.
The outcome of their work is called fOOd-i, a food dispenser and service based community tool for the school.
At the end of term, fOOd-i was presented to the general public at the annual Summer party to great acclaim.
The Design Thinking Kids booklet charts the ups, downs and outcome of working with students from grades eight and nine on a challenge of their own choosing. If you are interested in the booklet (in German), you can order in on my DESiGN KiDS website. For more details on the individual sessions visit the Club’s website www.design-thinking-kids.de.