Prepping, Planning and Prototyping; Redesigning our Cafeteria

The past few days when Mr. Adams has been guiding us has felt like so much longer than it was (in a good way!). We were led through different activities the we would use later on into our projects. Mr. Adams then gave us the prompt ‘HMW hack a space to better benefit the community at MVPS’. This is where the real fun began.

img_1703We got into pairs and were given time to meander around the school, taking pictures of spaces that raised questions or ideas. Skyler and I partnered and went on to begin what we didn’t know would become real, passionate project for us.

We then interviewed ourselves, staff, and other students about their thoughts on the cafeteria, using Rose, Thorn, Bud. This helped a lot with putting our user at the top of the list.We wanted our design to be better for the teachers, students, and custodial staff.

 A quote popped into my mind during this project that my dad is always telling me: “If I’d have given people what they asked for, I’d have given them a faster horse” -Henry Ford.

So, how could we discard the horse altogether? The main problem we camimagejpeg_1e across was the chair situation. They were too big, and there were only enough to hold around 125 out of the approximately 160 students eating lunch at a given time. Skyler and I tackled this problem head on, generating ideas about how to ‘ditch the horse’, where we even decided to ditch the chairs in general.

The thing was, Skyler and I focused so much on every idea that we thought of, it didn’t occur that we should be brainstorming and taking it slow. No, we were in full speed (this whole process took place over one Thursday). This only came to my mind when Mrs. Cureton read us an excerpt from Decisive, a book by the Heath brothers.

This lead me to wonder, how would it all have gone differently if we took time to seriously consider every litimg_1702tle idea? After all, “Chance favors the connected mind” -Steven Johnson. Even my sketches and plans for our cafeteria idea were rushed and scattered, a reflection of my brain at the time.

Skyler and I ended up becoming attached to our idea. When asked to rank our devotion to our idea out of 10, we quickly decided on a 9. I, for one, think that I would be throwing away something with so much potential if we moved on, and I don’t like that feeling.

Somewhere while working on our project, I felt a click. I was passionate about the idea, and there is something refreshing and exciting about suddenly having an affinity for something that you can be a part of, that you can change. So, whatever Mr. Adams has in stock for us next, I am sure that I will be learning more than ever!

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Go check out my partner’s blog!


One thought on “Prepping, Planning and Prototyping; Redesigning our Cafeteria

  1. boadams1 says:


    I love reading that your observations and desire to see the hidden obvious led you and Skyler to develop a potential hack that you truly cared about enacting. I think you are following an important trail in pursuing an idea about “human flow” in the cafeteria. I also like that you recognize the value of multitracking ideas before settling too quickly on “the idea” that you believe will work best.

    Mr. Adams


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