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"Co-creation can take place at any point along the design development process: pre-design, discover, design, make [iterate]" (Sanders, Elizabeth B.-N, and Pieter Jan Stappers. Convivial Design Toolbox. 1st ed. Amsterdam: BIS, 2014. Print.).

Discovery phase includes co-discovery.

Workshop planning includes co-planners.

Create-a-thon / Co-design Participation Plan

(warning) Work in progress

The Hackathon is structured into sessions:

  1. Introduction (whole group)
    • Explanation of the create-a-thon
    • Describing what the expectations are (no expectations, just remember this is about what you think)
    • Describing what the participant's role is in the project (There will be some hands-on game-play and an imagine and create session.)
    • Describing what will be done with the outcomes
    • Participant Introductions: Ask participants to pair up with person to their left (if not even number, a facilitator joins in); learn about each other through 3 questions (identify those questions); have participants introduce each other after lunch
  2. LUNCH
  3. Physical play (2-3 participant and 1 facilitator per group)
    • The purpose of Session 2 is to get the participants thinking creatively and to understand the physics behind their physical toy.
    • help get the participant thinking creatively and familiar with the co-design process
    • sequence of questions are asked which are used to help the participant into thinking about the physics / pedagogical properties of the play
      • i.e. "build a configuration that is the longest, fastest, launches the thing farthest etc."
    • ask them to unpack some of their thinking to see if they are starting to understand the physics behind the toy
      • i.e. "what did you do to make the thing travel faster, launch farther, etc."
      • "Why did you choose those pieces to make the marble go faster?"
      • "Why did you choose those pieces to make the marble go the slowest?"
    • start asking questions / tasks which are parallel to the digital sim. i.e.
      • Close your eyes. Reconfigure the track. Run the car / marble. Before opening their eyes, ask them to describe the track. (Sonification and audio cues)
      • Ask them what they think about the selection of pieces. What they like other pieces? What if you had a magical piece which you can stretch into whatever you want, would you still want the fixed pieces? (Single flexible track piece, vs. preset pieces).
  4. Designing the video game version of their physical play experience (Same groupings as in #2. 2-3 participant and 1 facilitator per group)
    • ask the participant to now think about making a video game version of the toy they just played with.
    • Active prototyping:
      • Draw a picture.
      • Map it out in "2D" using the actual pieces from the toy.
      • Talk-aloud
  5. Collaborative Co-Design (all participants working together)
    • Combine the groups.
    • Each participant shares their designs so far.
    • Taking the ideas from each of their designs, dive deeper into some of the gnarlier design issues:
      • What would the game be like if the audio was turned off?
      • What would the game be like if you were to play it with just the headphones and no screen?
      • How would you control it using a joystick / video game console controller?
    • Active prototyping:
      • Draw a picture.
      • Map it out in "2D" using the actual pieces from the toy.
      • Talk-aloud
  6. Co-design on Energy Skate Park
    • Taking the ideas and designs they had from step 3, ask what they would change about ESP
    • Try to cover the following areas:
      • Control - keyboard or controller, free-form movement, move on a grid, movement by landmarks?
      • Auditory - sonification, verbal feedback, text descriptions
      • Track construction - ease of use, pre-defined pieces
      • Graphs - is it understood? what would help you understand it better? describe it in words? describe it using sounds.
  7. Debrief


  • High school physics student
  • Non-sighted participant
  • Sound designer / sonification designer
  • High school physics teacher

Early Questions

  • Identifying 2 key areas:

    • Can we learn what scaffolds are needed through physical play?

    • If given an approximate model, can we identify supports needed to facilitate free-form track construction for a wide spectrum of users?

      • Add predefined track pieces which can be put together.

      • Or the ability to start from an existing track and you can change it.

  • What kind of feedback does physical play provide that is useful for users?
    • i.e. is the tactile and sound key signals?
    • Are there things about physical play that is limiting that could be implemented in digital forms? I.e. being able to play / pause / adjust?
  • Are the sounds created by physical play enough to orient a non-sighted user? (i.e. is sonification enough?)
  • What is the core play loop?
    • The core play loop = ability to easily adjust, tweak, and see consequences?
    • what kind of controls and feedback does the sim need to provide in order to keep it fun?
    • "fun" is subjective
      • people play in different ways. How is this accommodated?


  • 2x co-op students?
  • 2x non-sighted participants?
  • How do we "compensate"?

Given the above questions, how might a workshop / hackathon be structured to help us answer these questions?



  • Location specific/hands on
  • In School
    • does a workshop need school board REB?
    • for logistical and time reasons we should try to conduct research without having to do an REB.
  • At IDRC offices
  • Remote participation?

Discovery document

Notes from Co-Design Session w 7 y.o. #2


Set number of marble run pieces:

  • some slides
  • some vertical connector pieces
  • a "starting cup"
  • two "finishing cups"
  • two marbles

Video camera

Discovery and Play

Task 1: Build the shortest Marble Run track you can with a starting and end cup.

Task 2: Build the longest Marble Run track you can.

Task 3: How can you make this marble run go faster.


  • How did you make the marble go faster? Why did you make those changes?
  • What can you do to make the marble go even faster? What would you need to do?
  • What is it about those pieces that make the marble go faster?
  • Do you find that the pieces are enough? What else would you want?
  • Would it have been better there was a big box of track pieces and you can pick your own?


Task: Now let's pretend we want to make a video game of "this".

  • What would that look like?
  • How would you play with it?
  • What pieces are there?
  • Tell a story of how a friend might play the game on a computer or tablet.
  • What if you're in a library and you're not allowed to have the sound on, what happens to the game?
  • What if you're in the middle of playing and suddenly the screen glitches - how would you continue playing the game then?

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