The Problem: A morning robbed of joy
Located in suburban Brisbane, the Stower house is an average, middle class dwelling housing a family of four. Although the busy family are well organised and the morning begins with energy and enthusiasm, things seem to go wrong during the forty-five minutes from 6:45 to 7:30 am. With Dad already departed for work, it is in this time that panic ensues, as unplanned extras are added to the morning routine and Mum becomes flustered trying to fit these into the tight schedule. Consequently Mum often arrives at work late and exhausted. Basically, the opportunity to spend time together in the morning is robbed of joy and becomes a stress filled experience. Mum and kids would be better placed to start their day if the mornings were instead a time to congregate, eat breakfast, talk and enjoy each other’s company before facing the world.
Dear Architect, Please design a solution to our morning activities that takes the stress out. It needs to be a place that provides breakfast, but it should also be better than that. Why can’t it be a coffee house that ‘talks about the news’, is invigorating, engaging, stimulating, family-orientated. Why does Mum have to solve all the problems? It needs to be a diplomatic process that the whole family is involved in.
Provide strategies to help Mum and the kids manage the unplanned extras in the morning in order to create a positive start to the day. This should include designing a space that provides breakfast and fosters joy, fellowship and diplomacy.
The time cannot be expanded as it would infringe upon exercise and other household chores at one end of the morning and the start of the work/school day at the other end;
The activities can only happen within the home;
The space must be used for other family activities.
There are three people involved in these mornings;
It is a family relationship which cannot be compromised; and
One of the children is very anxious and unplanned extras cause a lot of stress for her.
Next Steps (Ideation):
Identify objects or conditions in the environment which may be recognised as concepts to be included or excluded to create something new (Hatchel & Weil), by undertaking the following processes:
Review Mum’s observations of the morning routine;
Interview the children to better understand their needs, their perception of the morning experience, and their desires for the morning routine;
Mum to brainstorm what the “perfect morning” might look like, feel like, sound like, taste like & smell like. The purpose of this is to broaden the possibilities for a desirable outcome;
Research how other individuals and families manage their mornings;
Research how spaces can alleviate stress and foster talk and companionship;
Seek input from others about how a space might foster joy and fellowship in order to garner new perspectives and ideas; and
Develop ideas based on feedback and hold discussions between Mum and the kids to get their feedback on concepts and where possible, prototype/trial these ideas.
“I chose to enhance this experience with a simple design element” (John Hockenberry), please help me. Kind regards, Helen/Mum
Hatchuel, A., Le Masson, P., & Weil, B. (2004). CK theory in practice: lessons from industrial applications. In DS 32: Proceedings of DESIGN 2004, the 8th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Hockenberry, J. (2012, June 12). John Hockenberry: We are all designers. Retrieved August 15, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti_i-M3pk5M&feature=youtu.be
Third Grade Classroom. [Photography]. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest.
Cafe. [Photography]. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest.