On the 23rd of November, Team ASE made its way to Geneva to attend a 2-week intensive at IdeaSquare @ CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. Alongside two German teams from Mannheim’s InnoSpace Design Factory and Pace University’s New York City Design Factory, Team ASE embraced the opportunity with open arms, exploring the town and taking part in the intensive together.

One word seemed to stand out the entire trip: ‘Ideation’. There were a total of 8 ideation sessions, most of which were on different opportunity cards developed in the lead up to the trip. This allowed us to develop a ‘concept portfolio’ using idea ‘napkins’ as a way to succinctly note down our concepts and rationale behind them. These ‘napkins’ resulted from the rapid ideation and prototyping sessions using our opportunity and CERN technology cards. We worked on better understanding the integration of CERN technology into our concepts, allowing us to think in a more futuristic manner in parallel with our project’s 2030 goal.

We were introduced to the concept of ‘Multiverse Thinking’ by Pablo Garcia Tello which places social construct against resources or each other (e.g. social construct vs. social construct, resource vs. resource etc.), in a way that incorporates systems thinking and multiple other frameworks and principles as well as future scenarios. We also learnt about Idea ‘tablecloths’ which incorporate a user journey map of some kind in the form of a “before, during and after” scenario, allowing us to place the greater scope on the experience and touchpoints of stakeholders and users of our design. Team ASE also learnt about different types of CERN Technology from the other CBI A3 teams in an activity called “World Cafe”, where members of each individual team members randomly went to other teams and work on a designated ‘How Might We’ question based on one of their opportunities. We were exposed to the many different perspectives of other CBI A3 members and all taught us something new about our opportunities, even if the problems didn’t apply to their hometowns. We learnt about adapting to different environments through this exercise which helped improve thinking more on our feet whilst simultaneously keeping us in check with our direction.

What next?

Team ASE will be contacting Team Bee from Mannheim, Germany to give and receive feedback on project direction, as well as reflecting on the IdeaSquare @ CERN visit. We will narrow down to one opportunity area and continue to explore it as we slowly begin to converge onto a problem space that will drive Phase 2 of this program. A final Phase 1 presentation will occur on Thursday the 19th of December for Team ASE at Design Factory Melbourne, showing our direction for the project and progress to this point in time. Better get going!


“Why are we here?” – Markus Nordberg