Members of the Bureau of Asset Management (BAM) along with corporations and not-for-profit institutions from around the world were recently invited to attend the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Design Camp. Our participants were: Sheila Atkins, Ivo Lazarov , Patricia Moreno, and Leonard Muhammad. It was a creative and interactive process.  Information shared and learned will frame our upcoming design work with the County’s user agencies.

Key Ideas

Design = designating meaning to something. Design doesn’t just apply to architects and engineers, but to anyone who is developing a new or improving upon an existing idea, process or product.

•    An important concept from the workshop: “The instructional model taught through the Design Camp course is based upon the idea that designers engage in two fundamental and related activities: gather information, and then use this information to make products, services and experiences. Information gathering entails observing what is happening in the world. Through the analysis of this information, designers make conjectures and formulate hypotheses about where opportunities may exist to provide solutions for unmet user needs.”
•    As a group, design methods in the following distinct activity areas were practiced: Discover – Define – Develop – Deliver.

Highlights of the Design Camp Experience

•    BAM participants learned “Leading innovation creates new value in new ways for customers and the organization. In order to lead innovation, the culture of innovation must be nourished and supported by the 5 Cs which are Creator, Connector, Conductor, Coach, and Champion.” 

•    The Design Camp participants were given the task  of applying the classroom instructions and concepts to improve the user experience for Adler Planetarium through design, thereby providing solutions for more efficient operations.  

Our Commitment to Customers and User Agencies

We are committed to use human-centered design thinking focused on the customers’ needs. It starts with problem framing and user research, and continues with  analysis, concept generation, and prototyping, ending with implementing change. Communicating with the customers throughout the whole process is key.  Asking the right questions like – What is the impact on the County and the customer? What are the key requirements? Is the design desirable, feasible, viable? – And reflecting our customers feedback in the design is a vital ingredient for the success of any project.


Photos from the Design Camp

Leonard Muhammed and his group discussing user-centered research at Adler Planetarium.

Leonard Muhammad and his group discussing user-centered research at Adler Planetarium.

Patricia Moreno on her dividing panel propotype.

Patricia Moreno on her dividing panel propotype.

Ivo listening to the importance of communicating her ideas with clear, concise and consistent messages.

Ivo listening to the importance of communicating ideas with clear, concise and consistent messages.

Sheila Atkins is working on collaborative problem framing with her group.

Sheila Atkins is working on collaborative problem framing with her group.

Sheila Atkns presenting prototype to the main stakeholder - Adler Planetarium.

Design is a way to frame a problem. Patricia Moreno and Ivo Lazarov mastering the innovation mindset approach.

Our team at the Adler, Planetarium Site

Our team at the Adler Planetarium Site.

Our Cook County team is excited to start incorporating all the knowledge they have gained into their work.

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