Small-Group Clinics as Follow-Up to Workshop on PwDs and Access to Education

Following the 17th September 2019 workshop with Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), we ran two design clinics on October 1st and 2nd at Sunway Clio Hotel. The first group included blind participants whereas the second group included the deaf. Both clinics put the participants through their paces by combining futurology methods with fast prototyping approaches. Further, the participants were asked to consider the social impact (and consequence) of their proposed prototypes.

The October 1 clinic centred on training teachers in the implementation of creative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education. A subsidiary of this project is a proposal for developing a master creative lesson plan. Much of the clinic time was spent considering the present probable and plausible (and some possible) scenarios relating to current policy implementations and existing policy possibilities.

The participants found that the lack of diversity in the teaching body and insufficient teacher preparation had led to the systematic exclusion of sensory-disabled students from STEM subjects at the school level, despite policies that suggest otherwise. They were interested in the realization of universal design in science education that could allow for a more inclusive approach to the teaching of STEM at all levels. The group of that there has not been much work done on STEM education and the disabled in the Malaysian context.

The clinic on October 2 focuses on education for the deaf. A key issue is a national policy of using of Kod Tangan Bahasa Malaysia (KTBM) instead of Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia (BIM) in schools. BIM is a unique language developed by the Malaysian deaf community and is well-suited to their communication needs whereas KTBM is a code (not a language) that signifies Bahasa Malaysia. While KTBM was intended to help deaf students learn Bahasa Malaysia grammar, the deaf community finds it laborious to use, unintuitive, and less effective at communicating meaning than BIM—making KTBM an obstacle to teaching and learning.

Much of the clinic time was spent on helping hearing participants understand the differences between BIM and KTBM and the experience of their deaf counterparts in using the language and the code. The group continued to explore a process for transitioning to BIM, the needs of deaf students who have additional sensory or learning disabilities, and the integration of hearing and deaf students (including exposing hearing students to BIM from primary school).

The participants of both clinics have since taken their respective prototype proposals online as they continue to collaborate, where they will not merely be working with each other, but are reaching out to other stakeholders and experts with similar interests. Besides the original participants who continued from the September 17th workshop, we have additional participants, from both academia and Ministries, who were intentionally brought in to lend perspectives that would contribute to a deepened consideration and refinement of the proposals.

Watch this space for future reveals.

ProtoPolicyAsia September “Co-designing Workshop involving Persons with Disabilities – Accessibility and Education”

ProtoPolicyAsia successfully hosted a one-day “Co-designing Workshop involving Persons with Disabilities – Accessibility and Education” on 17 September 2019 at Sunway Clio Hotel. A total of 12 participants attended the workshop; with two participants representing the Deaf Community, two participants representing the Visually Impaired Community and one representing the physically challenged.

The workshop is centred on exploring how the PWDs and special needs education could be part of the educational mainstream, with proposals that could be developed for implementation at the policy level. From this workshop, we envision subsequent workshops that involve co-designing the adaptation of speculative design to participatory design involving specific PWD communities.

The workshop began with an introduction to speculative design and its potential use in disability research and education. Participants were provoked to identify main themes on disability that will be used throughout the workshop based on the questions that were provided to them prior to the workshop. Following that, they worked in groups to map out disability issues they have identified as unresolved in the consideration of accessibility and education.

Following the mind-mapping exercise, the identified issues were grouped into few pillars; Expertise, Infrastructure, Resources, Priorities, and Disability & Culture. Next, the groups moved on to co-design problem framing by co-creating problem statements that could be worked on with the use of speculative design. They were again challenged to think outside of the box using the 4Ps future cone concepts of the “Possible, Plausible, Probable, and Preferable”. At the end of the session, both groups present their prototype ideas.

What’s next?

We are planning to conduct a “Design Clinic” with the participants to further refine the prototypes that were developed during the workshop. We aim to showcase some of the prototype(s) in the upcoming public dissemination events.

More details to follow and for more information please contact Liza (lizaht[at]sunway.edu.my / 60137678897) and Dr Yong (mhyong[at]sunway.edu.my / 03-7491 8622 ext 7165).

ProtoPolicyAsia July “Champions Workshop” and “Co-designing Workshop with Community Members”

ProtoPolicyAsia successfully hosted a two-day “Champions Workshop” on 1-2 July 2019 followed by the “Co-designing Workshop with Community Members” on 3 July 2019 at Sunway University. These workshops were follow-up workshops based on the Introduction to Speculative Design for Policy-Making Workshop held in April and May 2019.

Champions Workshop

17 participants “Champions” from government agencies, and community-based organisations and non-government organisations attended this interactive workshop held in Sunway University. The aim was to train the Champions’ on participatory speculative design, to engage participation, and also to co-design with the facilitators for community members. Champions learnings from Day 1 and 2 will be put to test on Day 3, when the community members were brought in to the workshop.

The workshop started with an opening address by Dr Yong Min Hooi, who explained the overall project aims and specific expectations in the coming 3 days.

The two-day workshop was facilitated by Andy Darby and ProtoPolicyAsia Lead PI, Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves, both from Lancaster University. On Day 1, the Champions were introduced to Speculative Design (SD) by letting them create their own speculations of themselves. Andy led the session by stimulating the Champions’ mind in defining design and SD followed by provocation on present and futures. He introduced PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental) as a method to integrate SD at their workplace. Andy also introduced best practices in facilitation for Champions will need this skill in the subsequent workshop. On Day 2, the Champions practiced on exploring provocative solutions for their identified issues. They were then split into 7 pairs to work on their plan for the day after. The facilitators were also split up to support each new pair to guide and prepare them for the next day’s session.

We also pilot-tested the SD boardgame at the end of Day 2. The boardgame (spearheaded by Dr Clarissa Lee) is aimed at introducing SD in a fun engaging manner and to allow meaningful feedback to the game developers.

Co-designing workshop with Community Members

On 3 July 2019, 20 participants from the general public attended the “Co-designing Workshop with Community Members”. 18 were senior citizens and 2 represented the Person with Disability community. These 20 were divided to specific pairs and we had between 5 to 6 people per group. As per yesterday’s pairings and support from one facilitator, the two Champions introduced SD and facilitated their group members to build a future solution to a current/future problem. The Champions worked hard at explaining what is SD and how best to address specific needs within each community, while managing individual differences. At the end of the session, each group presented their day’s work “prototype” and explained the importance of their prototype(s) to the crowd. The Champions were debriefed by the facilitators on their performance and expectations on future workshops.

The 3-day workshop for the Champions has been gruelling and tiring, but to which the Champions demonstrated their knowledge and skill remarkably. Seeing the prototypes (although it was made from play-doh) helped Champions to ‘see’ possible and preferable outcomes.

What’s next?

We will host a two-day “Futurology Workshop” and “Pre-Prototyping Workshop” to be held at Sunway University in August where the Champions will refine the prototypes developed with the Community on 3 July. We aim to showcase some of the prototype(s) in the upcoming public dissemination events.

We look forward to seeing more participatory sessions, and welcome the general public to view our prototypes.

More details to follow and for more information please contact Liza (lizaht[at]sunway.edu.my / 60137678897) and Dr Yong (mhyong[at]sunway.edu.my / 03-7491 8622 ext 7165).

Speculative Design for Policy-Making Workshop

ProtoPolicyAsia team successfully conducted a two one-day workshop on Introducing Speculative Design for Policy-Making on April 29th and May 2nd in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A total number of 44 participants attended the workshops and they were from various government agencies and representatives from community-based organisations and non-government organisations.

Workshop introduction by Dr Yong Min Hooi of Sunway University.

At the beginning of the workshop, participants were given a brief background on the research aims followed by watching the Speculative Design animation video as a brief introduction to speculative design.

Dr Lim Shiang Cheng from United Nations University introducing the Sugar Neutraliser Prototype to stimulate the discussion for the Speculative Café session.

We had the Speculative Café in which participants sat in small groups of 3-5 with a facilitator to discuss the SD concepts using the Sugar Neutraliser prototype that was created in previous ImaginAging workshops. After a short break, participants worked on one of the main pillars in SD; problem ideation/definition. Here, participants reviewed each issue with a specific time frame and finding specific themes and moving onto fast prototyping for solutions.

Group work session using Speculative Design in identifying short-term, mid-term, and long-term problems.
Group work on problem framing stage using Speculative Design.

They were reminded of the categories which were featured in the video, which were “Possible”, “Plausible”, “Probable”, and “Preferable” in providing a solution for their identified problem.

Group work on solution testing stage in deriving to a prototype.

What’s next?

We will host a two-day “Champions Workshop” to be held at Sunway University on July 1st & 2nd. The aim is to train the participants specific details on speculative design and how to be a successful facilitator.

To enable them to practice what they have learned, the “Champions” will run a co-designing workshop with community members on July 3rd. This is also to be held in Sunway University.

More details to follow and for more information please contact Liza (lizaht[at]sunway.edu.my / 60137678897) and Dr Yong (mhyong[at]sunway.edu.my / 03-7491 8622 ext 7165).

Speculative Design for Policy-Making Workshop

ProtoPolicyAsia team will conduct a two 1-day workshop on Introducing Speculative Design for Policy-Making in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 29th April 2019 and 2nd May 2019.

On the day of the workshop, the program is about:

  • envisioning partnership opportunities for government and civil society to improve the quality of life for Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities in urban settings,
  • identifying barriers and facilitators to these partnerships, and
  • beginning the process of creating solutions together.

At the same time, the workshop aims to equip the participants with tools and approaches using participatory Speculative Design to envisage problems and solutions that are not merely about working around the most expedient solutions, but also to anticipate future problems and potential solutions along a range of timelines, from the short-term to the longer-term, while thinking of how these solutions could build upon each other.

Workshop flyer featured below: