Monday, November 02, 2009

Invention is the best medicine

Last week I traveled to University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to give a guest talk at the SmartSurfaces hands-on think-tank taught by professors Karl Daubman (Architecture), John Marshall (Design), and Max Shtein (Materials Science). This inter-disciplinary course is designed as a series of workshops for students, mostly senior- and junior-level undergrads, who are interested in fusing new urban architecture and design ideas with elements of emerging heliotropic technologies. My goal was to discuss with them the concept of problem value and methods for discovering high-quality problems.

It was raining on Friday, the day of the workshop. I woke up with a terrible headache wishing I were back home in the sunny Bay Area. But, somehow, when I stepped into the Smartsurfaces studio to give the talk the headache disappeared. The whole 5-hour class, including a lunch break and a Reverse Brainstorming session, went without a hitch. Student participation was high, they asked good questions, did really well on generating problems (300+ in 45 minutes), and everybody felt that we made good progress. Somebody even said that I became their favorite visitor :) Thank you!

Here's a link to the session report (video and pictures) put together by Dr. Marshall:

1 comment:

Pete Hall said...

Thanks for coming to visit last week Eugene, we really appreciated all the help and after working on our redefined project for a week I'm really glad we came up with all those problems for our projects. We have really been able to move forward! Thanks again!