On Sunday, June 23rd 2013, a group of 12 MOUSE Corps students and one MOUSE Corps alum gathered at The Interactive Design and Children conference at the New School in NYC to present their 2013 Legacy Projects and lead hands-on design activities!
The first station we had set up was the Design-in-a-bag activity, in which people design rapid paper prototypes using only the materials provided to them inside a paper bag to solve a prompt, for example: “Design a vehicle to escape and erupting volcano” or “Design a way to clean nuclear waste out of a river before it kills you!”
It was so much fun to see all of the designs people came up with! Next, we asked people to experiment with creating switches at our Toy Hacking station. This was a popular station because we had a bubble machine, a spin-art machine, an electric drum and two remote control cars in various states of hacked apart and opened up. Visitors were invited to grab some aligator clips and experiment with finding out how the circuit works, and to use materials like gardening gloves, foil and foam to create new, innovative ways closing the circuit.
After that, the MOUSE Corps students led a series of Empathy Activities designed to make participants consider the viewpoints of people with different abilities, through the lens of design. Participants were asked to put on some goggles with obscured lenses and then try to navigate a paper maze using only the verbal directions of another participant, or to put socks over their hands and then try to sort paper. MOUSE Corps uses activities like these when designing assistive technology to get a better sense of what kind of interface will be most useful for their products, and to help them ask better questions when iterating their designs.
On the other side of the room, MOUSE Corps students displayed their Legacy projects. All day, people from all over the country and world came into the room, explored our activities and projects, asked questions, gave feed back, and interacted with our designs. It was a great afternoon for everyone! Thank you to IDC for having us!