Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 9199-9206
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.2122
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
In a historical moment in which the forms of learning have globally undergone substantial changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, conceiving, promoting, and realizing in presence moments of extracurricular training for university students is actually challenging. The practical and established dynamics for conducting co-design workshops need to be re-imaged because they must respond to health rules and limitations, but without limiting the expressive freedom of the participants. Ensuring the right balance of spontaneity in the dynamics of collaboration and exchange of ideas avoiding generating situations with health risk factors is a challenge that requires a readjustment both in the number of participants eligible for workshops and in the design thinking techniques that can be effectively implemented or that must necessarily be modified.

This is the challenge that the group of authors had to face when they fielded, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, a co-design initiative aimed at university design students, to meet the challenges outlined in the initiative Distributed Design (DD), a project funded by Creative Europe Program to implement the global network of Fab Lab promoting and improving the connection between makers and designers with the European market.

The contribution aims to tell how the group of authors has gradually changed the approach to co-design by comparing the events planned in 2019 (pre-covid), in 2020 (in the middle of the pandemic), and in 2021 (during the phase of coexistence with the health emergency and subsequent readaptation) within the same initiative DD.

In particular, we will focus on the solutions adopted for the workshop "Ctrl+", an initiative that stimulates designers and makers to explore the potential of extended reality for distributed design in terms of co-creating and prototyping digital applications that can enable innovative practices of "augmented making" within the Fab Labs and for their communities of users and innovators.

The final scope of Ctrl+ is to explore innovative ways to expand the market potential of distributed design through "augmented making". To support this purpose Ctrl+ could experiment with the use of different software and tools for extended reality.

Although Ctrl+ as a whole is articulated in the four steps "Development of ideas", "Selection of ideas", "Implementation of the project" and "Promotion of the project", this contribution focuses on the challenges and organizational outputs and outcomes collected within the first two phases, which represent the real moments of exchange and confrontation between teachers, facilitators, and students in a new form of a learning experience.
Co-creation, design session, post-covid workshop, distributed design, extended reality.