The traditional design studio is a learning environment housed in an institutional setting with all the necessary tools for teamwork, brainstorming, active learning, and reflective practice.
Designers and craftsmen who are involved in the concept design and development of new items or objects work in design studios or drawing offices. Clothing, furnishings, and art supplies most suited for design work, as well as workbenches, tiny machines, computer equipment, paint shops, and huge presentation boards, are all included in a design studio’s amenities.
The design community has written a lot about the design studio technique. But designers must go beyond the field of design, particularly to the fields of social psychology and behavioral economics, to truly comprehend how and why design studios function. Too many design issues are solved on the spot. Teams run into a design issue and jump for the first solution they think of. If the plan fails, they could try a new approach.
A team of designers, engineers, and product managers are put together, and when someone poses a design challenge, each member of the team conducts an individual brainstorming session. Members then present their ideas to their peers, who provide comments and critiques. Using the ideas generated by further rounds of brainstorming and group debate a smaller team creates the final design.
Why is this so much more effective than the norm? Two things:
- The design studio assembles a team with (theoretically) balanced skill sets in design, product management, and development.
- The creative process is prescribed as an iterative one with feedback and voting. The last remaining concepts are combined.
Design Studio is considerably more complex than what it would first appear to be—just fancy jargon for a brainstorming session. Design Studio brings together stakeholders from throughout the business in an organized workshop that adheres to a tried-and-true approach, as opposed to collecting a bunch of UX creatives in a conference room and hoping for the best:
- Insight into illumination: Participants are given a case study or topic to work on, along with any necessary instructions.
- Sketch: Participants think through the issue rapidly and jot down potential solutions.
- Pitch: Participants exhibit their early designs during the pitch.
Participants provide constructive feedback to identify the possible pain point of a solution and to stimulate additional idea production.
- Iterate: Repetition of the previous three stages with a little altered strategy (Different pairings, bigger teams, smaller teams, etc.).
A design studio gives participants the chance to concentrate on a specific issue and envision several solutions. The workshop should be run in a highly dynamic, hurried team environment; it should be chaotic and entertaining.
Purpose of Design Studios
Although each Design Studio will have unique goals based on the business case, the overall purpose of Design Studios is to collect as many ideas as possible. Here are a few options:
- Comprehend a customer issue and many potential fixes.
- Encourage fresh viewpoints on concepts.
- Transform concepts and hypotheses into workable designs.
- Create a variety of concepts rapidly.
- Obtain agreement on a certain course of action.
- Determine the demands of various stakeholders.
- Prioritize product attributes in light of client needs.
- Create a plan for updating a current application or product.