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flex your mind: ideation workshop on the gig economy


Mehul Sharma, John John, Sundar Subramanian


March 2018


Integrative Studio 1 (MS Strategic Design and Management at Parsons School of Design)


  • 2 clients

  • 12 class participants


The Integrated Studio 1 class functions as a studio - with a comprehensive brief coming from a live project partner and students conducting research and developing prototyped interventions all throughout the semester.

Flex Your Mind is an ideation workshop that aims to stretch participants’ minds and encourage them to explore ideas using a set of prompt card containing different elements and variables.


This ideation workshop structure was inspired by the style of The Situation Lab’s The Thing from The Future’ game, an award-winning imagination game that challenges players to describe objects that exist in a variety of alternative futures, and MIT Media Lab’s ‘design(human)design’, a tool that contains several design “variables” that designers can play with to keep their creativity running and to generate new ideas.


Entitled Flex Your Mind, this ideation workshop aims to encourage participants to explore ideas using a set of prompt cards that were assigned specifically for them. The prompt cards include:

  • Persona - This refers to the person for whom we are designing

  • How Might We? Question - This refers to the design challenge that has to be solved.

  • Artifact - This refers to the object that is being designed.

  • Domain - This refers to the area/industry being tackled by the solution


  • Each group is assigned a persona around which the solution will revolve. The persona is then paired with a How Might We? Question.

  • Each participant chooses a design artifact to focus on. The participant then comes up with several ideas that correspond to

  • To further enhance or complement their ideas, the participant has the option to choose 1-2 domains that the solution can lightly touch upon.

  • Participants then write their ideas on a sheet and pass these on to the other participants for the latter to build upon them.

We plotted all ideas in a Value Horizon Matrix, classifying those that have the most potential in terms of customer value and disruption.

Click here to view the whole project.