REPORT: The Power of Prototyping - Thinking & Making for Innovation and Impact

Updated: Mar 16

This programme was held on November 20, 2021, with Gaetano Ling as the lecturer. Gaetano, who has led many projects and is currently working as a Senior Device Interaction Designer at Google, gave a lecture and short workshops on prototyping, which is the backbone of his work. Please read the comments from the participants below.

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I am a business designer and often design projects using the design processes. I was curious about what other companies were doing in terms of prototyping, so I participated.

As I had expected, Gaetano, the lecturer of this program, introduced the methods and frameworks used at Google and IDEO, as well as examples of actual projects using them. As he emphasizes the concept of "thinking through making," there was also time to actually work with our hands and to try making things out on our own, and it allowed us to understand the meaning and merits of the methods firsthand, which was very helpful.

As an example, we worked on an exercise where three of us were asked to think of a pizza delivery robot for a park from completely different perspectives, and each of us had to prototype it and finally integrate it into a single idea. It was designed to prioritize "maximizing each individual's perspective and skills", which was impressive and not Japanese-like.

In addition to learning the methods as a player, from a management perspective, I learned how to direct the work and how to comment on the ideas. It was a good opportunity to rethink how to manage a team.

It was a short program, but it was full of learning for both the front-line and management positions, and I would like to participate again on a next opportunity.

(Toshihiro Tsukahara, Business Designer, NTT Communications)

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I am very glad that I participated in this short but very dense programme.

I work for a design company where I design and develop information terminals, conduct workshops on new businesses for small and medium-sized companies, and provide design consultation.

My motivation for attending this programme was to learn what kind of prototyping methods google's Senior Device Interaction Designer uses, and to learn how to conduct an online workshop.

The prototyping methods I heard in the lecture were pretty much the same as the methods and processes I'm used to.

This is not to say that the content was not fresh and new, but rather that the prototyping methods I had learned in practice were systematized in my mind, and I was able to clarify the universal aspects that I needed to focus on.

From now on, I would like to focus on the output by actually working with my hands rather than thinking too much about the methods.

In addition, the content was very convincing because it was discussed through actual design examples.

In the workshop session, I was especially glad to experience the "Exquisite Corpse".

I felt that it was very suitable for online workshops because it is an asynchronous group work. I would definitely like to practice it in my business.

On the other hand, I thought that real workshops are better than online workshops in terms of subtle communication among participants and the ease of asking small questions when you get stuck.

Because of the Corona situation, it's now difficult to meet people by chance, and I am less exposed to new things as often as before.

It was very refreshing to have such an opportunity.

(Souichi Yamamoto, Industrial Designer)

About the Programme

Title: The Power of Prototyping - Thinking & Making for Innovation and Impact

Lecturer: Gaetano Ling (Designer, Senior Device Interaction Designer at Google)

Date and Time: November 20, 2021 13:00-16:30

Format: Online

For more information, please check the following page: