dSPACE
A part-time, collaborative design learning experience.

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What exactly is dSpace?

dSpace is a project-based learning experience - not quite a course, not quite a training, and definitely not a bootcamp! It's a bit more involved than a monthly meetup, but your exact level of participation is up to you!

What is a design studio?

Design studio is a technique used by teams "to explore opportunities and innovate products to better serve customer needs". Following this technique and process in the early portion of the project will allow us to create the vision and goals of the project collaboratively. It can be a challenging process since you have to reach group consensus and agreement, but the reward is worth it. We'll all work through it and learn together!

Why is it 3 months long?

Rather than compressing everything into 1 day or 1 week, spacing out the project in 1 week increments gives everyone time to learn and participate at their own pace, while not feeling the pressure of a deadline or schedule. While this will not fully simulate the speed of a real-world project or design sprint, it will allow the learning environment and team to grow and thrive.

What will I get out of it?

If you are a total beginner, you'll be introduced to the world of design, design process, and design techniques. If you already have some design knowledge, or even practice, you'll get to meet other designers, build a community, and also have a project worthy of adding to your portfolio by the end! If you're a full-time or experienced designer, you'll get the joy of sharing your knowledge with other learners and seeing things fresh from a "beginner's mind" perspective! This can get you out of a rut of repetitive corporate projects, as an example.

What will our project be?

This will be decided by the team! I am leaning towards a project that is somewhat local in scope so that we can do actual, meaningful user research. I'm in touch with various contacts in the area about potential projects, but again ultimately the team will decide within the first 2 weeks what our "problem area" is!

Why does it cost money?

First, this is a educational business initiative of my LLC, Human Experience Systems. Like any good education program, it costs money to develop and run. However, there is not much profit built in! The primary cost is the fee for the space rental for in-person meetings. Any extra money will go into the "project budget" which, for example, might allow us to actually bid out some development work on the functional prototype! Any leftover money will be used for marketing and improving the program for the next cohort!

What is the schedule for in-person meetings?

This is open to discussion once we assemble our team. The tentative schedule is the open house on 1/25, followed by approximately 2 in-person meetings per month, generally spaced out 2 weeks apart.

2017 January Team
Wednesdays - 1/25, 2/1, 2/15, 3/1, 3/15, 3/29, 4/12, 4/26, 5/10, 5/24, 5/31, 6/7
2017 September Team
Wednesdays - 9/13, 9/20, 9/27, 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8, 11/15, 11/29, 12/6

Do I have to attend all meetings?

Absolutely not. It would make sense if you are a "core" member and pre-pay to reserve a spot for all meetings, but again attendance is not required. If you miss a meeting or two due to an obligation, that's pretty much a mirror of the real world design process! Ideally, you are motivated to attend because it's fun, interesting, and you are learning.

Do I have to participate daily?

Absolutely not! The virtual portion of the project will be run on Slack and Trello, so technically they are available 24x7. But this will be an asynchronous type of communication. You might be very active one day, and then not check in the next day. Internal targets and goals will be agreed upon by the team at in-person meetings.

Can I come to the open house and decide later?

Yes, please do! The first in-person meeting is scheduled to take place 1 week after the open house. Spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis so if you want to be sure, don't delay! But if "core" spots remain open as of the open house, they'll be yours for the taking - or you can simply be a "drop-in" member.

RSVP and questions ben@hxsdesign.com