End of week notes and 3 (approx) interesting things, new or old, found (approx) this week. Also on Powered by Uniform Medium publication.
We are experimenting with a new three days workshop structure. We use it for tech-led, out-of-the-box solutions for concrete problems of the commercial sectors we work on and for exploring applications of longer-term research themes. Its initial structure and techniques have been inspired by the usual suspects: GV’s Design Sprint and Stanford d. School’s Design Thinking, plus our own past experiences in creating and planning workshops with all lengths and purposes.
But the big difference from our previous workshops is that with this we are aiming to have a structure that is versatile enough to be used any time we need of an internal, accelerated process for creating a focused, insight-grounded solution.
In the past, our workshops were planned out specifically depending on the purpose and the participant’s time. This is great for testing new techniques and experiment with the structure (and we’ll probably use them for this specific purpose in the future) but is also very energy demanding.
The planning took always a considerable about of time and there have been occasions in which we had to change the structure or modify some creative techniques on the fly when things didn’t work out as expected.
Choosing to focus on a single workshop structure, and especially being able to use it repeatedly, gives us the possibility to improve the process, refining timings, techniques and facilitation in an iterative fashion. This way we can make the workshop time more effective and pleasant to work, for both us running it and for the participants.
After each workshop sessions, we examine what went well and what could be improved, amend the plan in a new document, bump the version number on the filename and repeat. We’ve run two workshops in this way and the steady pace through which we’re ironing out issues and improving aspects of our workshop plan which feels very, very satisfying.
1. Future Agency (2018)
Some due self-promotion for a start. This has been a long internal project here at Uniform that involved people from all disciplines and it turned out truly great. Well done team! From an It’s Nice That article.
Packed with tools like the sinister-sounding “dream builder”, bioengineered brand influencers, automated office pets that force you to exercise, and a truly awful ”Client Cam” that offers absolute transparency into what we’re working on at all times, The Future Agency forces us to imagine what’s next, exaggerating our current moment into a evolving vision of the future. The app is on the App Store.
2. Baxter robot discontinued (2018)
Truly bummed by this. Rodney Brook’s Baxter pioneered and made available the idea of a cobot, a robot that could work alongside humans. It has two arms and a different number of replaceable hands, and its main application was for using in assembly lines, without the risk it would crush its human co-worker’s bones.
What I loved the most about it was its capability of being programmable by imitation: one could teach Baxter some action by physically moving its arms and the robot would replicate that action to carry out a specific task.
3. Follow JC Go (2018)
It’s like Pokemon Go, but with Saints. Find a Saint, answer a question and add it to your team.
The game was developed by Fundación Ramón Pané, a foundation dedicated to evangelization, in preparation for World Youth Day 2019, an international Catholic event focused on youth. According to Crux Now, a Catholic publication, Pope Francis reportedly commended the app when it was presented to him in Rome earlier this month.
Fascinating to see that there’s somebody in the Catholic Church that proposed this app, somebody that signed it off and somebody developed it. Available on the App Store.