We love Cincinnati’s entrepreneurial and community-focused spirit; it’s something we’re honored to be a part of, and we always jump at the chance to connect with and build up our city. Earlier this month, we were honored to host Design Thinking Cincy (a group of local designers, thinkers, makers and innovators) for an ideation session led by The Garage Group’s own Bobby Moran. Bobby guided the group to use a blend of improvisational acting and Design Thinking techniques as tools to solve for a challenge provided by Indigo Hippo, a Cincinnati non-profit that encourages creative reuse through providing low-cost, second-hand art supplies to the community.
Recently, Indigo Hippo has been struggling with articulating a big part of their mission: “to use creativity to normalize different mental and emotional capacities and bring to light the tools that we all have to support ourselves and strengthen our connections to community.” This challenge lended itself perfectly to the empathy-driven side of Design Thinking foundations. Led by Bobby, the group jumped into improv activities, games and ideation sprints specifically catered toward Indigo Hippo’s challenge in a free-thinking, unbiased environment.
Woven throughout the activities, the group discussed the positive capabilities of emotions; what it means to have different feelings and capacities within one single emotion; and how to nurture positive feelings, reframe negative ones and tap into self-confidence.
The exercises brought out a deeper sense of meaning surrounding Indigo Hippo’s mission for the participants, which helped the ideas flow more freely once the connection was solidified.
“Improv starts with the confidence to present your ideas without pre-judgement, trusting that your scene partner–or, in this case, other people in the room ideating–will receive your idea without judgement. If we can start from this place of positive confidence with improv games, that energy becomes integral and easily translatable to all parts of the Design Thinking process,” says Bobby.
By the end of the evening, the group was able to generate 200+ ideas to be used in Indigo Hippo’s storefront messaging and/or potential community programming. We are looking forward to seeing what’s next for the organization as a result of this session! Thanks to Indigo Hippo executive director Alisha Budkie and her team for entrusting this challenge to Design Thinking Cincy.