Rapid Fail in Action

“I want to be a really great IDEO thinker.” 

Students are embracing the practice of testing ideas as soon as possible and “rapid fail” has entered the classroom lexicon in a meaningful way.  One group in the MRI Design Thinking Challenge is building a life-size model to test their ideas. This group sees drama as part of the design process.  Role play is important to their understanding of the problem. They want to experience the feeling of  being enclosed in the machine.


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Tube collapses when placed on its side.
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Let’s try side supports.
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Other teams are called over for ideas. Tanner suggests using a tube with a counter weight.

The next group is creating a calm, soothing environment in the MRI machine. They’ve been working at making the curtain slide. Here they’ve tried 3-ring paper reinforcers and then moved to garden ties. When I came over, one said, “We’re doing rapid fail.  We’ve tried hundreds of things.”

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Testing ideas for a privacy screen.


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