Yonatan Dembo

Yonatan Dembo

3D DESIGNER, DESIGNER

Yonatan Dembo, who goes by Yoni, specializes in structural and 3D digital design. With an academic background in engineering and experience in planning and making projects, he uses his expertise to create uniquely elaborate but amusing real-life pieces. Yoni’s work errs on being simplistic but effective at meeting customer requirements while maintaining the meaning and essence of the item. With an involved approach to the design process, he imbues his work with passion and creativity allowing each element to shine in its own distinctive light.

Brick Design

A LEGO based design course for elementary school students that teaches how to build LEGO models at a professional designer level.

Project Overview

As a LEGO teacher, many of my students feel that they don’t have the knowledge and experience needed to realize and build their designs like the professionals they have seen both online and on TV programs like Lego Masters. I have always wanted to create some form of class that teaches kids the foundational skills required to build and design. Using some terms from the LEGO adult community as well as research from the company I work for and teachers in similar fields, I outlined a course that would teach kids the basics of the LEGO design world. Using my knowledge of LEGO design, I created a ten-week course, with room for more weeks as needed, to highlight the main points in LEGO building and design. These weeks are structured in a way to enable students to consider these crucial aspects of LEGO design.

Process Work

RESEARCH

The research portion of this project was carried out through conversations with teachers as well as instructors who work for my employer. These conversations focused on how they format their classes and what reasonable expectations would be. Using some of my own experience and experience of other teachers, I created a basic plan consisting of target audience, basic knowledge required, as well as how to break down the class into manageable chunks. I looked through some of the online LEGO resources to think of some design challenges or goals for each class.

DESIGN PROCESS

In the first phase of the design, I focused on the form for placing the order. It was segmented to ease the cognitive load. User tests showed that it was easy to follow even though some of the terminology was a bit confusing: it proved difficult for some to differentiate between file pages and pagination, and more assistance was needed for picking the stock types. 

I received an insightful note in class to forego mandatory number entering when assigning color vs greyscale, and to simplify the options by labeling a selection “color on all pages” and another “color on covers, greyscale for inside pages”. This proved to be easier for users in tests. Another major challenge was to add requirements such as estimate number, FAQ section, checking the margins, providing mockups. With iterations I found the right layout to fit all, while making it scannable.  

Interviewing the users, I realized that there was a need for estimates. I designed the estimate form making sure that it matches the layout and information hierarchy of the order form.  

Deliverables

The first deliverable for this project is a teacher’s guide that will be used in class. This guide will break down the course and its purpose, as well as create a framework and structure of what each week should cover. This framework will include sources and vocabulary to help guide the lectures and work that will be done in class. The second deliverable will be a Google slide deck as visuals for the lecture so that both the teacher and the students can follow along on top of the in person visuals done on the teacher’s computer. The last deliverable will be a miniature version of a course that can be briefly explained and practiced for the Senior gallery. This is a form of hands-on work on top of the actual booklet so that gallery attendees can try out an example of the course and see how they enjoy the process. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, this project was very enjoyable and really opened up my eyes to the process of curriculum design. I was able to traverse the difficulties of making things manageable for certain demographics. The most difficult part about this project was the inability to get actual hands-on tests for the course to alter any shortcomings. The process of getting classes approved for a trial run can take much longer than the time I was given for this capstone. Therefore, I won’t be able to know how well this class truly operates till next year at the earliest. 

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