Gambiarra Meets Design Thinking: Scaffolding Embodied Creativity in a Design Lab

Juliana De Bono Holanda, Jelle van Dijk

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

    30 Downloads (Pure)


    In this paper we report an exploratory study of developing a workspace of creative exploration as part of a design process inspired on a Brazilian improvisational street-culture, denominated Gambiarra. In a six month iterative design ethnography we adapted elements of Gambiarra into a formal, carefully designed ‘Design Lab’ for engineering and interactive computing students. The interventions produced alternative approaches to concept design and idea generation, whereby physical materials and their affordances recruited bottom-up improvisations and reflection-on-action. We propose this strategy as positively extending the basic model of design thinking, including materiality as a crucial element in the early phases of creative design. We evaluated how traditionally educated engineering and computing students can be seduced into utilizing their latent embodied creativity via a suitable, inviting physical space. One of the main insights for designing our Gambiarra scaffolds was combining material invitations and improvise with ways to store and display intermediate results in one integrated workspace, such that each person’s ‘material trace’ of creative thinking’ would scaffold those of others.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    EventStudent Interaction Design Research Conference, SIDeR 2017 - Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
    Duration: 1 Apr 20172 Apr 2017
    Conference number: 2017


    ConferenceStudent Interaction Design Research Conference, SIDeR 2017
    Abbreviated titleSIDeR
    Internet address

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Gambiarra Meets Design Thinking: Scaffolding Embodied Creativity in a Design Lab'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this