Category: Design Thinking

Guest post: Lab Stars Design Sprint by Celina Mctavish

The Week 16 team showing off the lab before the sprint

The Week 16 team showing off the lab before the sprint – the lab that needs the added sparkle!

This event is one of the “Belonging” projects at Edinburgh Napier University, where students are encouraged to get involved in developing their community.

On the 15th of May 2019, Celina McTavish (3rd year DMID student) conducted a design sprint to gather students` ideas on what “belonging” means to them and how we can use these ideas to bring a sense of community to our lab. The session was organised in four steps  with eight students who regularly use the lab.

We began with an  ice-breaker followed by a 20-minute brainstorming session where students were asked the following:

  • How would you describe “belonging”? (Write this)
  • What does “belonging” look like to you? (Draw this)
  • What are some objects that could create a sense of comfort and inclusion in a room? (draw or write)
  • What can enhance students` connection with the university? (draw or write)
Capturing ideas on what "belonging" means

Capturing ideas on what “belonging” means

Some of the ideas – it’s going to be tricky to please everyone!

Students engaged with the brainstorming session by writing and drawing their thoughts on post-it notes. To try to encourage more interactions with this session, everyone came up to the front of the room and helped organise the post-it notes into sub-categories. Grouping the ideas helped to reveal keyword answers to each question.

Celina and Wilf collect everyone’s ideas

Following this brainstorming session,  prototype sketches are being created that will be used to develop  real solutions for the lab. The design sprint is focused on collectively designing an environment that emits a sense of belonging to a community with a goal of enhancing student connection with the university.

Celina works with the group to identify key areas for development.

Celina works with the group to identify key areas for development.

Thanks to Celina Mctavish for writing this post.  There will be a follow up showing the detailed plans for the lab soon.  

Featured Project: Blending Spaces in New York

We’re pleased to be able to share the video celebrating the Blended Spaces project we have been working on with Farmingdale College in New York State.  You can find out more about the project and exhibition here –

Dr. Tom Flint is currently making plans for next year’s joint project – this time the students from Farmingdale will be visiting us in Edinburgh in August.  Watch this space to see what happens!  If any current students want to be involved this year in Edinburgh and next year in New York please get in touch with Tom.

Featured Project: Blending spaces in New York


Our year 3 students Mat and Alison have been working with Dr. Tom Flint at Farmingdale College in New York State.  They’ve worked with students there to create an exhibition that blends art and technology with interesting spaces focussed around the  “Highline”.  Mat and Alison received funding from our mobility fund to enable them to travel and build on what they are learning at Edinburgh Napier.  Here they are demonstrating some Augmented Reality technology to the group. You can follow their progress on their blog and on Tom’s Twitter account – @tomflint