On Friday 4th November I was lucky enough to attend Student Designer‘s Business:Designed —> it was awesome!
The day started very early at 6:45 (and as it is Scotland it was still dark outside – never a promising sign). I got on the happy yellow number 3 bus and headed to the station to be tour guide to Angelia (again sorry for being late!) and we headed to the elusive venue: Inspace. It was a fairly large well-lit room with large windows and lots of light (lots of light for a dismal Scottish day anyway).
We signed in and wrote our names and 1 fact about ourselves on a name sticker. I really didn’t know what to write as my 1 fact but being the creative person I am decided to go with “I love purple”
After collecting a well-deserved cup of coffee/tea and a cookie, we started to chat with the various other designers who were starting to arrive. Officially it was such a great chance for “networking” but really it was just nice to talk to people from the same subjects as me but from other backgrounds.
After a quick welcome, and rundown of events from Student Designers Alex Barton we headed into our groups for post-it fun! Basically there were various topics on each table/window and we had to write down our thoughts about them on a post-it and stick it up with our groups. We only had about 5 minutes on each topic, so the ideas were fast and variable!
Check out Student Designer’s walk-through of all the post-it ideas.
I love post-it brainstorming because so many good ideas can come from it, of course mediocre and just damn right insane ideas develop as well! Here are some of my favorite “insane” and good post-it ideas:
“Fund my cuts” on education
“Space hoppers” on transport
“Beam me up scottie” “Scott me up beamie” on transport
“Touching yourself” on health.
“Bus wankers!” on transport.
Quick break before our little groups were split up and changed about. I was assigned to the transport topic. Our first task was to sort out the realistic ideas from the insane ones.
And then expand on some of the good ideas.
Our group seemed to be coming up with an app to improve the bus system, e.g. you could pay by phone, it would have a route planner, be voice activated for disabled people, easy to use for those not comfortable with technology and it was going to revolutionize the whole bus system and make people want to start riding the bus instead of using there cars and therefore sorting out pollution, congestion, etc. etc. Our ideas were becoming clearer and everything was falling into place, or so we thought. Alex came over to talk to us and from there on we were confused and despondent. Our idea had been shot down. Okay, not really but instead of seeing all of these amazing possibilities we started to see the negative aspects and realized that they were actually more prevalent than the great ideas we thought we were creating. Our idea just didn’t address the real problem, it only solved a way for app designers to make more money! We were assigned a helper (thank you Matt) and kind of digressed back to a post-it frenzy to try and clear our minds and tackle our problem with a new approach.
Our idea developed into something that almost had nothing to do with transport in the end (because we were tackling the environmental side of transportation our company idea become more about that and less about transport)!
A quick description of our idea: our company would enable other companies (starting with small independent businesses and growing) to become environmentally friendly and/or would help advertise companies who are devoted to being green. We would do this in unique and creative ways: we would host weird and wonderful events to promote ourselves and the companies we helped – potentially the events would be sponsored by them (e.g. a totally environmental music festival with wooden loos, team effort, hand built tents to camp in, endorsements from the “green” bands that played at it, organic food, organic booze, environmentally friendly merch and you would have to travel there by bike, by hitchhiking, by wind-powered flying machine, etc.) , symbol advertising, guerrilla advertising, viral advertising and so much more. It’s an awesome idea!
Not so awesome was the presentation of our idea to the rest of the groups :( but we managed it and enjoyed some lovely Brew Dog beer as a reward!
I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed this day (not that I was expecting to hate it or anything). If I do ever start up my own business it will most likely be thanks to this event! Not only that, but I met a load of other designers who I will hopefull have some connections with in the future.
Thank you Student Designers for such an awesome event!
If you want more info. on this event or Student Designers in general head over to their website. Or follow @StudentDesigner on twitter and you can view the Business:Designed twitter stream by using #sdbd
Some notable tweets from the day:
My sleepy thought for the day after Business:Designed