A community for open collaboration, design fiction & social innovation.

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Session One – Empathy

In this first session, you will learn more about how to effectively work in teams and create collaborative spaces together. This is especially important as we progress together towards the Request for Prototype. There are two videos below that will illuminate this topic.

This week’s design challenges will give you an opportunity to practice your collaboration skills. In the “Do” section below, we are asking you to take a deep dive around the object you have selected from Object Story – Part One. (If you have not completed this assignment yet, please do so ASAP so that you can begin work on Part Two of this design challenge).

We will be assigning you to small teams in order to complete Object Story – Part Two.


You will need to choose a partner from within your assigned small team in order to complete the 5 Times Why design challenge. Together, in your pair, you will help each other to take this deep inquiry. The rules of the game are quite easy: you will ask each other the same question 5 times consecutively. That might feel awkward, but if you stick to these rules you will allow the partner that you’ve connected with to explore his or her interest in the object of choice. The result of the exercise will be that you’ve explored multiple (story) angles for your object.

Then, you and your partner who was chosen from your small team, will return to your team to complete the Object Story- Part Two challenge.

In this week’s session, we will be talking more about collaborative spaces, “making” and establishing a collective mind. These lectures will help you complete this week’s design challenges in your first team-based interactions of this experience. In Ele’s part of the lecture, she provides a meta reflection on the way we collaborate. She says, “One goal of Sherlock is to remind us of our political agency and to elicit associative ways of co-creation. In this MOOC we ask you to bring yourself into the process, your individual talents, skills and wishes. And we ask you to find ways to realise your own d through finding mutual benefit.

Why is this important? Global politics, business and technologies are shifting shape. And we are shifting with them. The question is: do structures form us, or do we form structures? The Italian Operaismo movement* of the 1960s believed that it’s ultimately the people who change systems. So, we are looking at our own agency and wonder – how can we innovate the world around us? This is poiesis. My philosophical introduction to poiesis explains the concept in more detail, and how we can actualise it in collaborative spaces.”

Also, we have created a new podcast episode for you. This week, we’re joined by a crime historian, lecturer and author E.J. Wagner. Often sought out for her forensics expertise by crime investigators around the globe, Wagner is the author of The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Forensics Behind the Great Detective’s Greatest Cases. Listen as Wagner sparks some great conversation as she compares recent cases to murders from over a 100 years ago in this week’s episode “The Science of Sherlock.”

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Director of Experiential Learning & Applied Creativity @columbia - storyteller & @culturehacker

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