The Collaboration Station is a physical machine that serves to connect students with project opportunities and shared interests.
It was created alongside of Harrison Kwik, Christine Ta, and Sam Tompkins.
At the University of Washington, Business Students, Design Students, and Computer Science Students have compelling ideas, but face the challenge of trying to find students in other departments who can collaborate with them.
Users answer prompts with a number pad located on the machine. If they have a project to share, at the end they record a message about their project. If they are looking for a project, they listen to messages that others have recorded and can leave a message if they are interested in a project. This allows for the Collaboration Station to be a hub that students can visit and return back to time and time again, creating a physical location for collaboration and for connections to be made outside of using the machine.
For the research phase of our project, we created graffiti walls around campus, conducted online surveys, and in-person interviews. We found that many individuals would find collaborators for projects by reaching out to friends or colleagues they are already connected to. We found that when seeking collaborators, individuals look for "more than just having the right skills", they view business like a "marriage", saying it's "extremely important to be in business with the right people".
Next up, we racked our brains for a few weeks developing the concept of the Collaboration Station. Many hours were put into sketching, storyboarding, and creating low, medium, and high fidelity mockups that we tested and retested in class.
I focused on developing the form and experience of the physical machine. Christine and Harrison did a great job creating the internal workings. Sam focused on how the interfaces felt. Taking inspiration from an Exhibition project done by Studio Matthews and some UW Design students (shown on the left and center below), I began to build the frame for the Collaboration Station (shown on the right below).
To finish the collaboration station, I laser cut the cardboard face and installed the components in the back of the machine.