Getting Ready For The Design Experiment - What You Need To Know


Lisa Donaldson, Ormeau Baths

Lisa Bailie, Barclay’s Eagle Labs

Tara Walsh, MakeMatic

"I used to love going into town, but now I feel there is nothing there for me."

This year The Ormeau Baths, Barclays Eagle Labs and MakeMatic are running a one day of design experimentation where multidisciplinary teams will come together to solve the problem above using design.

In this year’s task teams will reimagine Belfast City Centre and pitch their ideas to a panel. Groups will pitch a concept for a space they would like to create that will increase footfall in the city centre and contribute to Belfast’s future heritage.

The key to success is to think outside the box!

You can book your place on The Design Experiment here.

The Wallpaper Process

In order for teams to come to a solution, they will solve the problem using ‘The Wallpaper Process’. It’s a design thinking process created to assist problem solving. Each team will need to complete 5 tasks that will help them come to their final solution or pitch.

With the user at the heart of the process, the Wallpaper Process has been used in industry and academia to help in the problem solving process.

But What Are The Stages?

Teams will work through the following stages on the day in order to devise their solution.

Stage 1: Defining Objectives

Teams will read the problem and define objectives. Having objectives defined helps teams come up with an innovative solution.

Stage 2: Consider the user

Teams will consider user personas, scenarios and pain points in the problem that has been presented. Remembering that great design is anchored in an understanding of the user is important at this stage at the process. Once that’s considered teams can take a closer look at the problem.

Step 3: Ideation

This is where solutions to the problem are brainstormed, discussed and agreed upon. 

Step 4: Iteration

 Now it’s time to repeat the process to generate more ideas. Each repetition of the process is used as the starting point for the next iteration.

Step 5: Implementation

Now it’s time to get ready for your pitch, and see whether the panel wants to implement your design.

Be Inspired

Approaching this problem creativity requires teams to think outside the box. The solution must consider how your team wants to contribute to the future heritage of Belfast.

Don’t forget to consider how the space can be used, how it can look, technology that can be utilised, and who you’d like to visit.

To get you thinking, here are some interesting spaces that have been designed around the world.