Advancing the Value of Ethnography

You Can’t Be Serious?! – LEGO® Serious Play® – Serious Solution Crafting for Kids aged 3 to 103.


EPIC2014 Workshop: You Can’t Be Serious?! – LEGO® Serious Play® – Serious Solution Crafting for Kids aged 3 to 103.

legos on an EPIC2014 program

Well the excitement of last week has taken its toll – or perhaps that’s just the jet lag. Now back in Berlin, I’m reminiscing our epic week, uploading pictures and re-reading scribbled notes – it’ll no doubt take me a lot longer to absorb it all.

I’d like to thank all of those who made it to my LEGO® Serious Play® Workshop on Sunday. I had the pleasure of welcoming ethnographers, anthropologists, designers and researchers from India to Adelaide to exchange ideas in the form of those little colorful bricks we all loved so much as kids.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP) is one of our favorite hands-on methodologies, designed to stimulate and empower participants to use haptic thinking for inspirational problem solving.

Developed as an in-house strategy tool in the nineties, LSP builds upon an inclusive and participatory nature, following the assumption that the answers are ‘already in the room’ and rejecting the idea that external ‘experts’ must be brought in to identify problems. Every member of the team participates, and everyone has a voice.

In our workshop last Sunday, we built metaphors and told stories of the trials and tribulations of the ‘ethno condition’, collaborating in a new way to delve deeper than your average conversational format.

Ever wonder what an “aha” moment could look like?

Well you’d expect your fair share of deep analysis in a room full of ethnographers wouldn’t you? Breaking things down into its building blocks was just the start of it – we had an ivory tower where the corporation is situated, befuddled by its users; the travelling ethnographers that tread treacherous waters and even the “Viking of Big Data” made an appearance.

Our session opened up a lot of questions for us to ponder and exchange ideas over; how do you present data in a way that gets people excited? How can we position ourselves to our clients in shifting contexts? What role do design processes play?

Oh, how I would love to have had longer than a two-and-a half hour session with these big thinkers and doers. My personal ‘big question’ remains – how we can best implement this methodology into our research practices? We at Point-Blank have enjoyed much success using LEGO as a communication facilitator and as a rapid prototyping method with clients but how far can we take this? How can we put it to best use? I know a lot of our workshop participants were cooking up ideas of how they themselves could incorporate this approach in their work. Keep us in the loop – I’d love to hear how it goes!

workshop participants


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *