All in town for design thinking

With the entire Cumulus Studio team in Hobart for our annual Christmas celebrations we were able to get together for a few days of workshops, planning, food and fun. 

Perhaps the highlight of the Christmas meet-up was the design workshop coordinated by Cumulus Architect and part time University tutor, Edwina Brisbane

Edwina’s design workshop began by breaking us into teams and presenting us with a brief for a new public pier in Victoria. Much like the old draw-fold-swap game many of us would have played when we were young, Edwina asked us to first define a user experience based on the brief, then swap it with another group – essentially abandoning our initial work for another group to interpret.  Each group was then required to develop a design concept based entirely on their newly received user experience. No cad software, no computers, just hands on collaboration. 

Teams compiled of people from Hobart, Launceston and Melbourne, including non-design staff and Directors, worked closely together, producing an impressive range of sketches, concepts and even models. The final presentations revealed some interesting interpretations of the brief and some truly wild ideas. Of particular interest was the ‘mega bridge’ and an interactive presentation which included a series of pier user ‘reenactments’.  

While one group was ultimately crowned the winner, the challenge itself proved to be an extremely valuable exercise for all involved. Not only did the workshop give us the opportunity to work directly with staff from different offices, it also encouraged our team to be creative without parameters. To be bold and brave in design without fear of judgement. 

We’ll be keeping the final concepts under wraps for an upcoming (real) design competition, but we were really excited with the results and look forward to sharing our ideas in the future. 

Big thanks to Edwina Brisbane and Keith Westbrook for all their help coordinating such a fun, productive workshop.