Over the last two weeks, the ZUMIX Radio team has been developing and honing our potential project ideas and the processes by which we’ll design and build the chosen project. After the brainstorming workshop with the ZUMIX DJs, team members took on various aspects of the ideas the youth generated to do some feasibility research. We considered our budgetary, space, and time constraints, as well as our pool of shared resources to determine what we’d be able to accomplish.
We started with three idea groups:
Portable storytelling booth
While we were all excited about the idea of building a portable storytelling booth, as we did more research, we began to think that it might be beyond the scope of both our class and ZUMIX Radio’s capacity to tackle at the moment. ZUMIX Radio hopes to work on it in the future, potentially in future Co-design studios.
In the same “let’s be realistic about what we can do” vein, the “both” option was shelved, as well.
We’re now focusing on the “old-time radio” idea. That being said, our conception of it has changed since our first few brainstorming sessions. The whole point of the point of the project is to get ZUMIX Radio more integrated in the larger ZUMIX organization and to attract more youth to the ZUMIX Radio, both as listeners and participants. Coupled with the fact that the brainstorming workshop was such a success, we’re now stepping back from our initial “old-time radio” idea and instead looking toward the youth and staff for design ideas. We’ll hold design workshops with both groups or in a single mixed group. We’ll also engage the youth in the building of radio. We hope this to be a mutually beneficial experience with all participants – staff, youth, and MIT students – broadening their perspectives and learning new skills.
The process of developing the MOU and proposal was challenging and thought-provoking. We were forced to think about not only what was feasible, but also to think critically and openly about the planning, decision-making, and implementation processes that this project entails. Who gets to decide which project we choose? Who participates in designing and building the final product. Ultimately, the choice is ours. This seems like a central lesson that this course is trying to convey. We’re in the position to choose who participates and who doesn’t. This gives us power. This may not be our preferred set of circumstances (indeed we may be actively working to overturn it), but given that it’s the ones we’re in, we have to choose how we work within it. Collaboratively, from the top-down, or somewhere in between.
You can find our Project Proposal and MOU here.