Throughout the course of the semester, we've been asked at various points what our thesis framing statements are. The framing statement became a special point of emphasis in our Service Entrepreneurship class taught by Steven Dean. In this class, we were walked through the basics of conceptual modeling, a useful practice that, while tricky and time-consuming to nail down correctly, paid off large dividends once the modeling work has been completed. The act of modeling itself is one that is deliberate and needs to be taken step by step - and in this sense is a meta practice, being more concerned with the structure of structures, i.e. the design of structures of thought, of understanding, of knowledge, than with the design work itself. The concept map below is the result of many, many iterations and many hours spent trying to distill Unbound into its constituent concepts with the aim of developing a lexicon marked by a certain economy of language that was still descriptive enough to avoid oversimplification. If the map seems simple when you read through it, I won't be offended; a good concept map makes the complex seem simple and somewhat obvious.
I only prototyped one more product for the two week product design sprint. This didn’t make onto a more refined model, despite this final prototyped idea also being one that I’ve been toying around with since the original 100 sketches that we did for thesis.
One of the first ideas that I wanted to prototype for the product design sprint was the rollable ramp. Longtime followers of the blog will recognize this idea as an iteration of something that Chris P, one of my users who participated in the co-design workshop, came up with. Chris, a New York City resident, told me about the problems facing wheelchair users in New York City, especially around food and restaurants. A ton of restaurants in the city are still not ADA complaint [a theme that I touched on earlier in the blog when talking about the service ADApt], and many feature [somewhat maddeningly] a single step up or down into their premises. The rollable ramp is meant to counteract that tendency.