About the project
Given the surge in popularity of social media and its proven effect of creating echo chambers and filter bubbles, children are increasingly exposed to opinions that already echo what they might hear from their parents or peers. However debate has historically been proven as a way to foster difference of thought, welcome active listening and showcase how our own thoughts can evolve over time.
In addition, children and adolescents are taught about the World’s climate crisis but are seldom given tools to ideate futures that are desirable, inclusive and also bold. Children may get drowned on the complexity of the problem and may lack the imagination and skillsets to actively co-create futures.
As designers, the challenge lies in creating a set of DIY digitally fabricated tools that teachers all over the world can incorporate in 1-hour sessions to foster debate, talk about global state of affairs and teach children to welcome difference of thought.
The question is, how can we design an integrated system of tools that allows teachers to facilitate healthy debates regarding the future in the classroom?
About Little Big Futures’ approach
Replicable, scalable and accessible tools for teachers
There is an opportunity to make a set of tools that is easily replicated, accessible and scalable for teachers that can be fabricated at a local level using Fab Lab tools. From the content perspective, we also imagine co-creating continually with education leads, principals and stakeholders to incorporate topics that are relevant from an academic perspective and also considering Emergent Futures.
For our research process, we combined a blend of digital fabrication that allowed us to build to think as we refined our physical prototypes and community engagement that allowed us to co-create with teachers and children in classroom settings with a variety of workshop formats.
Testing in Badalona, Spain
To evaluate our concept, we partnered with a local school in the Badalona district in Barcelona, conducting a pilot in the form of a collaborative workshop. The objective of this workshop was to gather feedback from students regarding their sentiments on using the Perception Board as a classroom tool. To assess the viability of our idea, we created and distributed a printed paper version of the perception board for testing purposes. Our ultimate goal with this tool is to foster critical thinking skills among students.
By actively engaging with the Perception Board, students are encouraged to go beyond passive acceptance of information. Instead, they learn to seek out evidence both in favor of and against various issues, enabling them to form their own judgments. We engaged with 90 students simultaneously to stress test our proposition and evaluate if the dynamic was scalable.