A Design Jam is an idea factory. It’s a fun, fast and creative brainstorming session intended to co-create a wide range of possible interventions in response to specific civic and political contexts.
Nerd Jams originated in the cozy living rooms of our founding members as a way to feed their shared desire to dream up projects over shared food and wine.
Although each Jam is unique, we use the Double Diamond Design Process to structure each Jam, which ensures we can move through one or two iterative cycles of divergent and convergent thinking. Once we’ve determined the timeframe, location and approximate number of participants, we build a detailed agenda, presentation deck and design activities that all serve to guide the process and ensure a smooth cohesive experience. I.e. We’ve got it dialed!
The British Design Council developed the Double-Diamond process in 2005, emphasizing the need to make space for discovering the ‘Central Problem’ before defining and developing solutions. It has four phases (Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver) that help navigate the creative process from identifying a design challenge to finding and building a solution.
Dan Nessler has a great piece on how the Double Diamond continues to evolve.
Why Jams Work
Participants leave the Jam feeling hopeful and empowered that a situation can change because they have the tools and the team to make their world different.
They were listened to (+ didn’t think their idea was crazy); they gain new friends, allies, partners (and sometimes a team); they feel grounded, ready-for-action, capable; they feel connected and engaged to those around them, the place they call home and the issues they encountered.