Home 2.0 Blog Archive

Monday, August 10, 2015


A Starter Home 2.0 Commentary

I recently started reading a book called the 'Achievement Habit', written by Bernard Roth who is a longtime professor at Stanford's world famous d.school and is credited as one of the inventors of the practice of 'design thinking'. In the book's introduction, Roth explains the principles behind 'design thinking' as follows (with my commentary on how each one has been applied to the Starter Home 2.0 project in bold text):
  1. Empathize. This is where it starts. When you design, you're not primarily doing it for yourself; you're doing it with other people's needs and desires in mind. Whether you're designing a better roller coaster or a better hospital waiting room experience, the idea is to care about the users' experiences and figure out how to help. In this step you're learning what this issues are.
    • The Starter Home 2.0 project is designed to empathize with the needs of young, growing families entering the home buying market for the first time.
  2. Define the problem. Narrow down which problem you're going to solve or which question your' going to answer.
    • The Starter Home 2.0 project focuses on addressing the Millennial Housing Dilemma young families face when confronted with the reality of being forced to settle on either buying 
    • an affordable old house in a walkable neighborhood that lacks the amenities, energy efficiency, and durability of a newly constructed home, or buying an
    •  affordable new house in an isolated outer suburb that is highly car-dependent and lacks convenient access to jobs and entertainment.
  3. Ideate. Generate possible solutions using any means you like - brainstorming, mind mapping, sketching on napkins ...however you work best. 
    • The Starter Home 2.0 project was generated from pages and pages of sketches and notes scattered across a series of notebooks.
  4. Prototype. Without going crazy to make anything perfect (or even close to it), build your project in physical form, or develop the plans for what your're going to enact.
    • The Starter Home 2.0 house under construction in Pleasant Ridge is the prototype house for future Starter Home 2.0 projects.
  5. Test and get feedback.
    • By living in the Starter Home 2.0 prototype house upon completion and inviting over family, friends and colleagues to give continual feedback on the project, I will be able to continually test and refine all aspects of the home moving forward.
To learn more about design thinking, Google anything related to IDEO and check out some of their videos.