Social Media + Parallel Prototyping
A Light Fixture Classroom Approach
Turning students’ proficiency and engagement with social media into vehicles for classroom activities can enhance students’ performance. Instant interaction, the nature of social media, is equivalent to a rapid-feedback-cycle that allows students to learn and adjust quickly. Social media, thus, is especially helpful for evaluating multiple students' works at the same time. This practice, in interior design, is parallel prototyping. Based on this potential fit, the authors conducted a mixed-method study on this account in a light fixture design classroom at the University of Minnesota in three consecutive years (2015 to 2017).
In collaboration with a Texas-based furniture and fixture manufacturer, students created light fixtures and received feedback from the chief executive officer (CEO). On a private Facebook group, students posted 15 sketches to the folders with their names. Once the CEO provided informative feedback on each sketch, students could instantly access to this resource to revise and enhance their ideas. Later in the process, students uploaded 3 idea developments and the feedback cycle started again. Students final concepts, in terms of scale models, displayed at a renowned trade show where attendees voted for the most creative and profitable solutions.
The authors compared the interaction-frequency of students and the CEO and students’ performance (i.e., in-class grades, trade show vote results). This poster discusses their initial findings.
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