Demo Day Speaker Series II: Andy Hagerman, The Design Gym

By Samuel Baumel, Creative Producer

I finally figured out what I’m doing for my half birthday party. There’s going to be a swimming pool filled with Doritos and a kiddie pool full of salsa on the side… great for taking a dip between reciting half the birthday song and eating half a birthday cake.

This morning’s Demo Day workshop with Andy Hagerman of The Design Gym helped us to refine our design thinking, whether we’re designing our products, our customer interactions or our next half-birthday parties.

We partnered with other Media Center members and practiced techniques for ideating without limitation. One activity borrowed some tried and true improv tactics, such as the “yes, and” response technique. Responding with “yes, and” to a collaborator’s suggestion helps get ideas flowing. This is great for imagined improv scenarios, but misses a component necessary for practical application.

That’s where the “yes, but” technique comes in. Responding with a “yes, but” helps determine the variables for experimentation and how to distill a design. The Design Gym’s distinction of “yes, and” and “yes, but” is a great way to put the ideation process into silos for both creative and logistical collaboration conversations.

Other key takeaways are that it’s imperative to ask questions and listen to users… easier said than done, but with the help of The Design Gym we can now flex our idea muscles with more confidence.

Sam is a producer of film and interactive media. In 2014, he was commissioned by Dance Films Association and Center for Performance Research to direct a piece using skeletal tracking and a depth capture device. He develops content and strategy at style blog, CourtWalk, and is the founder of Brooklyn Panorama, a virtual tour service provider licensed by Google. Earlier in the year, Sam’s team won the NASA Space Apps Hackathon for building a prototype of Smell-O-Vision. Now, he is collaborating with Governors Island to build their official app via the NYC BigApps Competition. Sam’s music videos have played on NPR, Pitchfork and SPIN.