Simple Mockups - Tool to Enhance Visualisation and Creativity in Entrepreneurship Courses

Simple Mockups - Tool to Enhance Visualisation and Creativity in Entrepreneurship Courses

D. Bienkowska, C. Norrman, A. Sundberg, M. André (2017).  Simple Mockups - Tool to Enhance Visualisation and Creativity in Entrepreneurship Courses. 9.

The CDIO framework encourages us to work with prototyping during the conceive and design phases integrated into engineering education. Recent technological developments such as CAD and additive printing/3D printing have made prototyping feasible even with limited resources. Being able to visualize enhances creativity and learning (see e.g. Berglund & Leifer, 2013). But to reach these learning goals, prototypes don't necessarily need to use advanced technologies - as we will demonstrate with our simple prototyping cases.

At Linköping university, we have started to experiment with prototyping and simple mock-ups in several entrepreneurship and innovation courses in order to stimulate creative thinking and experimentation. In one of our entrepreneurship courses we have used Lego as tool for need-based idea generation, after being inspired by a workshop at the CDIO conference in Turku in June 2016. In our course, Lego blocks are used to visualize problems that call for entrepreneurial solutions. We start by letting the students sit down in groups and then build and explain their individual view of a problem they have detected in the cleantech industry. Then the students merge their individual problems into a joint problem and then into a joint solution.

In another entrepreneurship course, the class receives a box with arts & crafts materials, halfway through the course, after a feedback session on their entrepreneurial ideas. This prototyping event is used for further development of these ideas. Based on the feedback given, and on their initial idea, students create mock-ups visualizing their ideas. After an initial creative phase students present and pitch their mock-ups to other groups.

In a cross disciplinary project development course, Demola, the craft box is used under the name “Shitty prototyping”. The Demola workshop is developed from the original Demola concept invented in Tampere, Finland. The aim of the workshop is in this case to visualize and develop an initial idea, foster playfulness and enhance team building. Creating a good start for the group work is especially important in a course like Demola, since students from different faculties and educational backgrounds are put together. Through working with a joint prototype, the students learn to know each other, both as individuals, and according to their skills and competence.

For the entrepreneurship courses, a preliminary evaluation shows that the prototyping events were appreciated, not least as it added a culture of playfulness and unpretentiousness to the course. In the case of Demola we have learned that it is important to meet up the students and inspire them to reflect on the event. We have also realized that the fact that a working prototype can be created within less than an hour helps build students’ self confidence. Furthermore, working with mock-ups is a great way of team building. In the full paper we will know more and we intend to analyse and discuss our experience regarding how and at what time in the course simple prototypes can be used, how workshops can be developed, and what we have learned.

Proceedings of the 13th International CDIO Conference in Calgary, Canada, June 18-22 2017

Authors (New): 
Dzamila Bienkowska
Charlotte Norrman
Amanda Sundberg
Marcus André
Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
Demola East Sweden, Sweden
project courses
shitty prototyping
CDIO Standard 2
CDIO Standard 7
CDIO Standard 8
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