Yep… it’s that time of year again.
Destination Imagination! The one stop shop for all your stress related needs. Do you have too much time? Need a little bit of stress in your life. Look no further, with Destination Imagination you won’t have another free day… what’s that? You’re saying that DI went pretty smoothly and you actually had some fun? Impossible!
Welcome back to Destination Imagination (DI for short). If you don’t know what it is, you can learn more about it here. Essentially, it’s a challenge prompt in which you along with a few friends have to solve in the form of a performance (there’s also an instant challenge but that’s not as important). All you need to know is that we had around 5 months on and off to create a performance entirely from scratch that reflects our teams interests and completes the challenge prompt that we were given.
Throughout the project we would follow the stages of the creative process
Starting off with Recognize, this is where we really started improving from last year. If you read my blog post about last year’s DI, you would know that we really didn’t do so well with this step which led to missing pieces in our team challenge. This year we nearly didn’t miss anything (When it tells you to do research, DO IT). Luckily we caught that before it was too late.
It was during this that we also started the next step Imagine.
This is where we pretty much won the challenge. We all sat down and I was like “Hey, we should build some cool mechanical wings”. That went on to “Hey, we should base our story around steampunk”, then that went on to “Hey, we should have the main plot device be about clocks”. Just like that, in around the first week of the project, we had a concrete idea for the central challenge, a theme to base our story around and a great plot device to make the story interesting. For me this goes to show how powerful building off of other’s ideas can be. Stemming from a single idea, it evolved into our story, illusion, set design, costumes and dictated pretty much everything after it giving our challenge a cohesiveness that my previous challenge just didn’t have.
The next step was to Initiate and Collaborate. As I stated in my learning plan, the biggest area I wanted to improve on during this project was collaboration, a skill I definitely think I improved. There were many different collaborative pieces of work in the project. Probably the best collaborative efforts were in the story and the clock. The story was very much a group effort. Everybody pitched in ideas, some were crazy, some weren’t very good, but combining them we ended up with a pretty good story.
(You can see how the story evolved over time as new ideas were added and changed)
The other area that we collaborated well was with the clock. This was much more hands on, with everybody pitching in to help paint it, and to get it working.
This also brings me to my next point, playing to people’s strengths. Last year I really struggled with this as I didn’t know people that well, and to be honest didn’t trust them either. This year it was a lot better, and was a key factor in our success. Alicia is really good at creative writing so she wrote our script. Claire is really good at sewing so she made most of our costumes. Ewan is really good at acting so he took control of one of the main characters, and I could keep giving examples. Playing to people’s strengths also meant that I could focus on my strengths, instead of trying to do everything. Speaking of the things I created, I am really happy and proud of the things I made for this project.
I was responsible for most of the technical elements of our challenge, since that was my strength. I’m also strongest in mechanical engineering, so I focused more on that aspect, avoiding the mistake I made last year in which I tried to use electrical engineering. A concept I basically knew nothing about going into, and became a huge pain as things wouldn’t work and I would have no clue why.
[Design process of the wings]
I also got a new fancy pants 3D printer, that we put to very good use as I learned how to use 3D modelling software, and made a working clock from scratch. (I still can’t believe it actually works)
The next step was to put everything together. This mainly included practice, practice, and more practice to get our performance as good as possible. I think we could have done a lot more here and was one of our main weaknesses. Getting all the different cues right, knowing all the lines, and just acting with a little more interest could have all made our performance a lot better. Next time I will definitely try to schedule in more time to go over the play, and make sure everybody knows where to be.
After all that, it was time to present in front of actual appraisers, an event, which I couldn’t go to :(. You’ll have to read my team member’s blogs to see how the actual event went, but watching it back it looks like everything went pretty well.
If you want to see our presentation, here it is!
So after all that what did I learn. Well I think I learned most about how to effectively run a team. Things like splitting up group work, trying to play to people’s strengths, and especially keeping team moral high were key things I practiced during the project, and could still improve on. I realized how much my actions and even mood can affect others. It would be much more beneficial if I come into class supporting and encouraging others, rather than super stressed and anxious as my mood can easily rub off on others. I also learned the importance of given clear, specific instructions. If I just tell a team member to “work on the script” they probably won’t do much as they have no clear goal or task to work towards, and I don’t have a clear deadline to give them. Instead if I be more specific on what they have to do, then it will be much more likely that they do the right part at the right time, instead of an uncoordinated mess. Coordinating a team so that everybody has something and knows what they need to do is definitely a skill I’m still working on, but it’s good to see some improvement from my last attempt.
Anyways, that was Destination Imagination 2022 in a nutshell. Overall this project went wayyyy smoother then last year’s and I actually had some fun designing and creating our solution. For sure there were still conflicts and stressful days, but in the end I would say it was worth it.
See you next time,
P.S. WE WON🎉