This was a multi-department design thought process collaboration.  John Bielenberg and Ryan Clifford facilitated a two day multidisciplinary-design school collaboration for social good, on Oct. 2–4!   Students were challenged to collaborate, generate ideas, problem solve and deliver “big picture” projects in a short time period.

In order to get into this project, students needed to apply by creating a short video.  A lecture on making a concise pitch was given by Professor Shaun Foster.  The slides were posted on slideshare here.  Over 70 videos were submitted and 38 students were part of the blitz.  With students from all of the design schools representing.

Overall design challenges for the weekend:

“Gown Town” name was from the issue that some colleges now are very separated from the urban areas.  Consequently it reduces community / connection to that environment.

With the overarching requirement:  *Make it legendary*

Design exercises were geared toward breaking traditional thought process and working outside the box.   Everything was done in this way including:  Name tags, mind-mapping, Share anonymous information, etc…exercises especially geared to unhinge conventional / relational thinking.and even putting groups together outside of the context of the regular RIT campus.  The event was hosted at “The Brainery” at Village Gate

There were multi-tumbler posts regarding the blitz under the hash-tag:  #RITBLITZ

The initial challenge was giving to the students to go to 5 places, meet 5 people, get 5 stories


These should relate if possible, plus take 25 pictures each.  From here the student brainstormed activities for connecting the RIT campus to the Urban environment of Rochester.

From Friday to Saturday evening the students worked in groups of four to eight.  They produced short videos demonstrating their “final design” ideas.  Many featuring innovative ways from food fights, flash mobs, and secret rave like rides from campus to downtown to ways of “breaking the ice” and connecting through music.

The students who participated described the experience as extremely successful.  It seems like a great start to more multi-departmental collaboration!

Please also check out the RIT Project M Blitz Blog!


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