If you want to make something great, you need to start making. -- David Kelley
Have you ever wanted to create something but are not sure where to begin? Staring at a blank canvas, screen or paper, there is a challenge of where to start, what to create. Starting is usually the hardest part, so providing guidelines or structure can help with the creative process.The mission of the Square One project is to provide a basic framework of creating through making in order to foster and grow creative confidence in young people.
The vision of Square One (developed in collaboration with Annie Sexton and Kristen Engles) is to jumpstart creativity by fostering innovation, activity, and confidence in young people. The goal of this project is not to have young people create content solely in a digital format but to build a stronger connection between the imagination, creating through making, exploration and problem-solving. With an understanding that there is never one solution, these cards empower young people to create unique pieces or ways of thinking that reflect individual, social and societal concepts. The cards encourage a young person to use what they have in their immediate environment, in the kitchen, outdoors, community etc., which can spark their creativity by inspiring them to think outside of the box to execute the prompt.
From the initial concept phase through refinement we have received amazing feedback and comments about the project. As a way to develop the Square One concept we examined how to structure the prompts into different categories. Three categories (individual, group and society) have been chosen as a way to focus our prompt structure as well as establish social interaction. The categories allow young people to complete prompts individually, as a group, or both with the option to expand their lens of social awareness. Furthermore, each prompt has a set of loosely-set parameters to allow for creative expression, exploration of different materials, environments and tools as well as provide a solid foundation for participants to start from.
Square One would be accessible in print, mobile and web formats.
PRINTED (see images)
To obtain a printed version of Square One, a user would visit the website and purchase a set of cards. The cards will have a specific age group attached to them, which will correspond with the K-12 education system in the United States. The creative challenges will reflect academic, social and behavioral age appropriate experiments for young people plan, create and share.
Since the target audience (stated above) covers the age groups within the primary education system, it is important to develop a series of decks of cards that engage, challenge and deliver memorable experiences for young people. As a result, the decks will be subdivided within the
target audience. For example, the deck shown in our prototype visuals is focusing on young people ages 8-12 years old while another deck would have prompts focused on sparking the creativity of high school-aged children.
The prompts and parameters for each deck of cards will be defined according to the age-appropriate group. Each challenge has an inspirational quote connected to the prompt, and each deck will also include Instructions, Helpful Hints and Square One Overview cards.
The three main steps of the creative process are always provided on the bottom of each card, reminding the participant to: plan, create and share.
The instructions for Square One are simple:
1. Pick a card from one of the categories (Individual, Group and Society).
2. Plan the challenge.
3. Create the solution.4. Share the solution by visiting the website and posting it to the Gallery, or via the mobile application.
APPLICATION (see images)
The mobile platform allows young people, teachers and parents to interact with the Square One on the go. Prompts will be posted daily as a way to inspire users to create every day. Simply pick the daily prompt or view a card, follow the prompt, create what is listed and then post your work to the gallery. All posted work will sync across the mobile and web galleries. Users will have the opportunity to browse and filter the gallery for inspiration, collaboration and additional creative challenges. Young people can then use their created work as a jumping off point for other projects, or as a finished product with the option to share in the online gallery composed of other young creators who have participated in the same exercise.
* Note: In the interfaces shown above, the blue color of the navigation bars and surrounding background of the daily prompt correlate with the chosen category (Individual). If another category was selected, the colors would then change to that category color--yellow for Group and red for Society.
WEBSITE (see images)
Square One’s website extends the conversation of both the mobile app and printed version of the card systems. Users will have the opportunity to learn more about Square One, purchase sets of cards, as well as view, post and browse the gallery and prompts for inspiration.
* Note: Similar to the note above for the application, card category colors and gallery images would be denoted by the chosen category. Additionally, for the website, gallery images shown would pertain to the chosen Square One card. For example, if the "New Name" card is chosen by the user, the gallery would be populated with posted work pertaining to the "New Name" card.