Get to WRK: Maven Design WRKSHP is in session

There are two reasons our studio doors are open:
1. It’s over 60 degrees
2. WRKSHP is in session

At Maven we fully believe the process of creating should always, always be a collaborative process. Though we’re a small team, we have a lot of knowledge to share and we know we’re not alone in this. We stand to learn immensely from the creative community that surrounds us, and we don’t want that knowledge to go unshared. Thus, we created WRKSHP.

WRKSHP is a learning session, open to anyone, where ideas happen.

The first installment of WRKSHP focused on sketch exploration. Sketching is one of the most important parts of being an industrial designer. There’s nothing more satisfying than settling on a final design after exploring as widely as possible and knowing you have the best concept. However seeing it rendered, almost tangible, right in front of your eyes makes skipping the sketch phase and jumping directly into CAD enticing. The time and thinking it takes to get to a final design can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Sketching sits at the core of our industry, our trade, and our passion, so we shared some of our best practices with the group.

Configuration Development For this session, we decided to focus our sketching on creating a voice controlled device (think Amazon Echo or Google Home). We 3D printed the essential elements: a PC board, three speakers, and a battery, but outside of the inclusion of those elements, the challenge had no rules. Would it be a wearable? Where would the speakers be most useful? Can all the elements be stacked? We encouraged everyone to create as many possible ideas, whether good or bad, onto a piece of paper. The intent of this phase is to create architectural underlays which helps broaden sketch exploration in future sketches.

Exploring Inspiration and Design Language Once we exhausted configurations, we used them to quickly explore both visual design elements and design language for users and environments.Teams designed for one of three contexts: Construction, Juvenile or Healthcare. We explored how an aesthetic language of each of these contexts could be applied to help us refine our concepts and imagine new ones. This started with printing and pinning inspiration images from similar categories, and using that inspiration to help us design into new concepts.

Prioritize, Refine, and Communicate We then helped teams focus in on their final designs and work through technical aspects of sketching to communicate their ideas and taught them how to use multiple underlays to refine details and tell the concept story. We encouraged each person to weigh in on their group’s final design, but also gave them an opportunity to piggyback ideas off one another and pitch their product.

If you want to join the next WRKSHP, our door will be open. You can also sign up, give feedback, tell us what you want to learn about, or reach out with any questions here

Milton Glaser once said “Drawing is not about representation, but about thinking. Trying to understand what you’re looking at … The brain sends a signal to the hand and the hand sends one back and there is an endless conversation between them.”