LOGOTEL FOR POLI.DESIGN: HOW WE DESIGNED A "MULTI-SITE" MASTER
Together with Milan’s Politecnico we’ve created a training module that’s involved 13 Countries - ensuring participation and collaboration
The "social distancing" situation we’re experiencing has had us redesigning the "Enhancing furniture through digital and service design strategies" module at Poli.Design. It’s Milan Politecnico’s Master in Furniture Design.
That was an interesting challenge, affording us the chance to ask ourselves certain key questions concerning design:
- How can one arrive at a common language at international level that manages an interaction and proximity spanning 13 different countries and cultures?
- How can one keep attention and engagement high within a module that extends over several weeks of work?
- How can our remote collaboration be effective while also encouraging co-planning within a sub-team?
Participation and "physical" proximity
Over the past few weeks the way to engage, communicate and offer post-lesson feedback has been swiftly achieved. It starts from body language for instance. That recuperates physical proximity by creating empathy within groups of children via gestures (thumbs up, greetings, yes/no), eye contact (ongoing video access) as well as voice tone and volume.
The greatest distance is that of time zone hours between Malaysia and Mexico - a distance that’s been traversed by forming "localized" working groups within multiple cultures while also respecting everyone's work and rest times. “Meeting" lessons were concentrated within a time at which all could be present, with teamwork organization packed into different times, depending upon country time zone and with plan slotting that’s seen much collaboration respecting timetables – all to maintain the correct sharing and planning times.
Setting up our shared "toolkit"
Everyone must be able to feel a part of the game. Equipping people to interact, share and work remains fundamental. As such, it’s essential to make available the tools that encourage co-design. Here it’s unimportant which technology or software is used: what’s essential is the laying down of a foundation for collaboration. Developing familiarity is necessary too, with each tool put in place to ensure the same use level for all participants. The tool becomes yet more fundamental when working together within a multi-site context.