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  • Writer's pictureMasa Okunishi

What IF: How to Make Your Ideas Real Workshop

Updated: Dec 29, 2018

The What IF: How to Make Your Ideas Real workshop, a continuation of the IF Conference series founded by Masa Okunishi, kicked off for the first time at the NuLab office in Soho on Saturday, July 8th. For four hours men and women, both professional and aspiring entrepreneurs gathered at NuLab for a deep dive into Design Thinking. The workshop was by facilitated by Ajay Revels from Polite Machines, who lead the group through Empathy, Problem Identification, Ideation & Design to Testing and the Lean Business Model Canvass. Each participant began by creating a “What If” statement, which they later unpacked to discover and define the pain points in a user’s journey. One of the high points of the session came towards the end when teams tested their solutions by acting them out as if they were presenting them to a client. The exercise was engaging and challenged the participants in imagining how their solutions may play out in a real life scenario. Everyone participated in giving feedback as if we were stakeholders in the projects ourselves. The level of critical thinking was high.

Revels, who has several years of experience as a design researcher in the US and Japan, realized that “most non-designers [she] spoke with thought [design thinking] meant a form of daydreaming used by designers”. In structuring the workshop she challenged her self to change what the meaning of a problem is. After having spent months researching the Startup culture in Japan, Revels found that “in Japanese culture it's seen as rude to point out flaws. Even in obviously poorly designed products or services that everyone agrees are aggravating.” For this workshop, Revels tried to reframe a problem from “bad” to something that could use our help to allow the participants to approach a problem with curiosity instead of fear. By doing so, it seems she succeeded in creating a safe space for imaginative ideas to take off.

Masa Okunishi and co-organizer Jennifer Pei Lin are organizing another Design Thinking workshop that will be more comprehensive and allow participants more time to develop their own ideas over potentially a four part series.

Please know that this and future workshops are conducted in a safe and confidential environment. If you decide to attend your name and any outcome of your experience will not be shared.

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