One day, the Pavilion of Knowledge - Centro Ciência Viva, the biggest science centre in Portugal, challenged us to envision a 524 m2 learning space. They've defied us to think and design an unconventional tinkering and maker space that would bring parents, kids, and geeks into the same level of experience. They asked for a space where it's great to fail, and we've succeeded!
Since the beginning, this was our motto:
Together with the Pavilion of Knowledge team, we created a new category of space that combines a tinkering studio and a maker space.
We only set 2 rules to a no rules space:
There are no constraints: participants must feel curious about the surrounding activities and feel free to explore them in no particular order.
There are no instructions or directions: visitors set their goals, define their path, and learn from their mistakes. Here there is no room for "I can't do it."
We talked to makers and geeks, visited maker spaces, and went deep into understanding the Maker and DIY culture. We learned a bit more about creative processes and how children behave differently than adults towards a new challenge. We simulated different types of situations, paths, and spaces suitable for different audiences and activities.
For a few weeks, we were kids again! We tried the very activities that would be presented at Dóing, and we had little fellows helping us! They taught us how to fold paper planes and build circuit boards.
Along the way, we learned how people learn.
Trustful to this concept, we designed a space that is playful, convertible, and flexible. A place that incorporates people's trials and errors as part of its personality and charisma. As a result, we took a cosy, noisy and small shop and made it huge enough so it can take hundreds of curious visitors at a time.
Together with the client, Dóing was selected from an initial list of more than 150 brand names, considering the brand's values: comfortable, cluttered, cross-cut, mutable, noisy, and empathic. Dóing comes from "doing" in English, and the mark on the ó makes it sound more Portuguese. It's bouncing and reverberant like "poing poing.", it sounds like a spring jumping or a hammer banging. Dóing is “doing” with fun!
The image of the brand was trustful to the DIY philosophy. Four different images were created in our studio with materials and tools used in the activities. Dóing is a registered trademark of Ciência Viva and is now spreading to other science centres of the Network.
You should have seen our studio! We filled our walls with sketches, pictures, post-its, and mockups. But it's not only how it looks but how it feels. We prototype on a real scale to understand the usability and the experience of the exhibits. If it's not right, we go back and try it again.