What methods and approaches do you take to aid idea generation and an in-depth project outcome?

The lecturers take varied approaches to idea generation but for the most part it is fed off of the initial strategic approach, workshops and analysis of trends and research methodologies. A+P make an interesting point that as part of their approach the audience is kept to the fore as part of their own triangulated strategy. Matthew also talks about the emotion that you want your audience to feel and I think this is key. In creating that extra connection with your audience you stand more chance of a habit loop being created where the audience returns regularly to be rewarded by a brand, product or service that means something personally.

In writing their proposition or positioning statement, Studio Dunbar look for the sweet spot, a statement of intent that is essentially bulletproof and can stand up to any test. This informs the process from the brands mission, to the way the brand speaks, to final outcome. In following Harriet's method of breaking down a brand into all the things it stands for I feel I have been able to find this for my own project - so thanks Harriet if you read this.

Most of the lecturers also agree that while in the iteration process you need to embrace the unknown and go beyond it and come up with as many possible solutions or variations as possible. Now that we are in the concept stage I really want to engage with this and find a fresh way, a least for me, of approaching my outcomes. The lecturers narrow this process down once all ideas have been explored. I thought Luke Veerman's point that just because you are experienced it doesn't mean you should limit the possibilities. This particularly chimed with me as I tend to fall on what I know rather than what I haven't even considered. They all more or less said it was ok to fail and this is what I intend to do…

— Prototype your idea, analyse and ask if an idea is viable.
— Fail and fail harder.
— Play. Come up with multiple iterations. Keep the process open and broad.
— Get to the core of the project. What is its undeniable truth.
— What do you want your audience to feel? Look for the emotional connection.
— Share your findings with Stakeholders, Peers and people outside of your industry.
— Always take it further than the client wants.
— Experience doesn't mean you have to close down exploration.

Note: I didn't like David Carson at all until I watched his lecture – my mind's completely changed.

— Notice the ignored and embrace the unknown.
— Use your instincts.
— What's the message. What are you trying to say with your design?
— Look for humour, juxtapositions and tricks of the eye.
— Put who you are into the work you create. Make the work for yourself.
— We're not saving lives or putting anyone in danger by exploring and making.
— Observe the world around you: not just looking but understanding.
— Involve your audience in the process. Participation.

The votes are in from three of my peers which all seem to be drawn to mood board 1 because of the sensorial approach. They are also drawn to mood board 3 from a graphic sensibility so I will review the boards and see if I can combine some elements to influence my outcomes.



Workshop Challenge

Distill your research from the previous four weeks, to inspire the concept development of your project brief. Post initial thoughts onto the Ideas Wall for peer reflection.

SMG Group Core message: 'The home of human ingenuity'.


Strategy: How do we make the Science Museum Groups online archive accessible to a broad audience, easy to read, navigate and search, and drive return and new traffic?

In reviewing initial strategic approach, which I wasn't sure about at the time of writing the document, I feel that I have taken the right approach. This has also informed my brand positioning statement/proposition:

'Creating Interactive pathways, to understanding, discovery, and enlightenment through social sharing and insight'.


— To focus less on the content of the archive and more on the way people will find, interact and share their learned experience.

— To create an accessible, interactive archive with simple user experiences that are as engaging as possible.

— To diversify SMG's offering across multi-channels to maintain visibility, relevance and a renewed sense of purpose.

— To create virtual spaces where we live, work and play using technology such as VR, 3D, Touchscreen, Augmented Reality, Holograms, Games etc., as well as analogue approaches such as pop-up's, film and television where people can make connections and create personal stories.

— To create a constant source of enlightenment and surprise with audience participation and personal ownership included to create habit loops.

— To implement a less is more approach to the amount of content presented to the public and build an experience with a low carbon footprint.

INSIGHTS (Summarised).

As audience perception is emotional, I am looking to create multiple sensorial experiences that live both online and offline. The intention is to develop a renewed sense of purpose or the 'why' users come to the archive and how they interact and share their personal experiences and learnings. I think for research purposes the main site needs to retain its archive intact, but as a living, breathing organism has to look beyond one channel to really have an impact on its audience. By using multiple channels the opportunities for social engagement and sharing will increase and in turn drive traffic back to the online archive. There is also a need for personal ownership of the objects to be included in the mix where audience participation grows and build's a buzz around the offering.

In terms of the site itself there is room for more play with the brand, typography and colour use site wide. The current offline facing materials are bright and welcoming and this needs to applied to the archive which is dark and foreboding and is a barrier to entry.More information, filters and access to the objects needs to be visible in the main viewport which will create increased accessibility to the archive and the photography of the actual objects needs improving if they are to be used or shared.

It is also important to implement a less is more approach to the amount of content presented to the public and build an overall experience with a low carbon footprint.

Collaborate with peers and staff on the Ideas Wall and contact any relevant research groups or industry professionals to seek advice and feedback on the direction of your project brief. Elaborate your discussions in your blog.

Design and deliver a range of concept developments and post them onto the Ideas Wall. Elaborate and expand on any feedback in your blog.

For my initial exploration I have kept it really open and loose, using programs in a way that I wouldn't normally approach them to look for interesting typographic treatments and juxtapositions and just playing. There are as many failures here as ideas that might actually transfer into the final outcome. I am still looking at this idea based on my core proposition which is the creation of interactive pathways. Whether this is achieved by waveforms in the typography, shapes or modular molecular structures I am not sure yet. Still very much keeping it a journey into the unknown at the moment. Nothing is finalised in my thinking and I am going to try to push this even further tomorrow (11/11/21).



In the webinar John Stack made some very interesting point with regards to where a possible outcome could go and I was also massively impressed by the breath of thinking behind peer projects and concept visualisation.

Some points I picked up on from John were particularly relevant to my approach to the project. As I am going for an open source/access approach where people from all sides of society can access the archive in their own spaces, John highlighted some of the restrictions that certain technologies may have outside of the museum space itself.

He noted that VR technology is not a social event and I asserted myself that not everyone has either money or access to this technology anyway - but nearly everyone has a smart phone. He also noted a rise in the use of QR tech because of touch restrictions due to the Covid environment and that use of augmented reality is on the increase which works perfectly for me as I want to bring the object archive into your space - interactive experiences where you are.

He described this external use as harnessing everyday behaviours and bringing the archive into spaces where people are waiting and have time to kill. This is perfect for me as I see this as science leisure rather than serious research when the archive is viewed outside of the museum and you can employ the 'temporary' canvases in spaces that promote action and intrigue. This can also be built upon with the implementation of travelling pop-up museums bringing a sample of the archive to you.

Some of the peer group were thinking about creating regional stories with objects and John touched on the reasons people didn't come to the museum as being because the stories are not people centric. I was also thinking about this and how I can make the archive have more of a narrative about ordinary people and their connection to the science. I also like the concept of connecting archived objects to future/emerging technologies which demonstrates my idea of creating not just an archive, but a living breathing thing.

He also talked in-depth about how the archive is separated between deep research use and casual browsing. This helps me to refine my idea of having a 'curiosity' search engine and a 're-search' (more advance searches) engine for both types of user and fits with my assertion that the archive should be limited to reduce its online carbon footprint.

Looking at the other students approaches I feel I have maybe kept my thinking too broad and open in terms of how the archive will function and it's purpose or goal so this is something I need to refine in my next stage of development.

John was taken with my 'objects missing' idea which creates intrigue as well as the distortions so I need to see how this develops and fits within the overall scheme going forward.



Trying to put more structure on what my actual outcome will be. Really interested in 'bringing the archive to you'. I have ideas for how the main site could work but am undecided as to whether I should do this as well as the external experience. I don't believe the archive will get the traction it needs if it is just one thing so have built in multiple ideas that feed off each other through app content.