Hack Access Dublin Potting Shed

“The Hack Access movement is about mobility, equality and a rethink of how our cities, and all the systems enabling life to flow within them, are designed. It’s also about educating the general public about the real causes of disability – that its the environment which disables, not individual differences in ability.”
Ahead of their November Accessibility Hackathon in Google, #HackAccessDublin asked the Potting Shed to bring our love of brainstorming and worthy causes to their Innovation Immersion Evening in Dogpatch Labs. We were there to help get, and keep, the creative ball rolling with their teams of coders, designers, and engineers. We were delighted to get involved from the word go and it was fantastic to see a hackathon facilitating the ideation phase at an early stage like this to get people in the right mindset.
The evening began with an insightful panel discussion from 4 members of the public who shared their experiences of access and mobility issues around the city. As they described their  daily routines in the city, every pain point mentioned was met with a collective look of disbelief from the teams “how can these issues still be possible in this day an age?!”
  • How can it be possible for a wheelchair user to turn up for a meeting in town, and the access lift to the front door regularly be out of order?
  • What happens to the spontaneity of life when that same wheelchair user bumps into a friend in town and decides to join them for lunch in Howth, but has to give 24hrs notice to use the train?
  • Why does it have to be a gamble for a visually impaired person every time they step onto a Luas ,whether they are going to end up in The Point or Connolly.?
  • How in this day and age can a Deaf individual become trapped in a lift or car park and be unable to communicate with security any other way than through an audio device?
These were just some of the mind boggling questions our four panelists asked us to consider when generating ideas that might improve their most basic standard of living.
After this followed another insightful introduction on  “how to think like a designer” from product designer and Director of the MSc in Design Innovation at Maynooth University, Trevor Vaugh. Trevor provided an overview of the design thinking process, giving the groups several tips and tricks on how to see past the more obvious answers, and find the deeper innovative ideas that would have never otherwise occurred to them.
With their minds now brimming with valuable user insights and creative tools, the teams took to their flip chats and post its with gusto. The Potting Shed members led the charge, guiding and encouraging anyone that was new to the process, and keeping the energy ramped up for the remainder of the evening. Ideas were generated at a great pace and by the end of the evening all the teams had a solid foundation of concepts to bring forward to the hackathon phase on November 25th.
We are really excited to see the results of this incredibly worthy initiative from Janice Valentine and her team at Hack Access Dublin, and delighted to have been involved.
You can read the various challenges from the event and sign up to the Hackathon here