Test & Validate

Test & Validate. This is the final step. This phase includes co-design through participatory workshops, performed with individuals and groups, to collectively develop the prototyped concept and validate the research hypothesis.

Card Deck Prototype and Co-Design Workshop 

“ researchers’ interactions with practitioners [are] crucial for the capacity of design research to make significant contributions towards innovation in the design school of the future, researchers are not just distant observers of that which exists but creative co-designers of a new practice.”  - Rodgers & Bremner, 2019.

Card Deck Version 2, June 2023.

This phase of rapid prototyping put the set of cards to the test with diverse users, through a blend of digital and in-person workshops. The goal was to iterate on the card deck categories and fine-tune the 'rules' or approaches for use based on real-world feedback.

Co-design, defined as designing with, not for, stakeholders, guided the development of a participatory workshop to test and refine the card deck and its methods of use. The workshop principles prioritized relationships, balanced power dynamics, and utilized participatory means to ensure all stakeholders were active partners. 

Workshop Activity Snapshots

Influenced by Dr. Elizabeth Sanders’ MakeTools and "Collective Dreaming in the Virtual World," this virtual workshop involved six interdisciplinary participants, including designers, entrepreneurs, researchers, and makerspace members, with their feedback informing iterative improvements to the card deck rules and categories. 

The participatory co-design engagements revealed several uses for the card decks, including a collective approach to:
Resource assessment
Speculative conceptualization
Rapid ideation
Concept development
Educational purposes

Examples of workshop engagements and user feedback are detailed here.

The collaborative design process yielded a card deck comprising 160 cards distributed across 6 distinct categories. Continuous adjustments were made based on valuable feedback to refine categories, terminologies, approaches for use ("rules"), and physical attributes, including color and size. In addition to the original 5 card deck categories (Root, Wild, Cultivate, Ground, and Propagate), an extra category ‘Activate‘  was introduced in the third prototype, featuring action words and phrases clipped from architecture, product, and manufacturing magazines.

Cards for the Collective: Artifact Evolution, Version 1 - 3

The most recent deck includes a fully printed set of cards updated per the iterative test round feedback.  A ‘game board’ was printed on a broadsheet to be used along side the cards as a physical worksheet for notes. 

The ‘Cards for the Collective’ is an ever-evolving project, continuously morphing to the current need of it’s users. Stay tuned for updates.

Prototype V1 

February 2023

Prototype V2 

April 2023

Prototype V3

September 2023


Introduction to the tool.
Game board.
Instructions, how to use.

View the broadsheet ‘game board’ printable PDF.

Future Development

The future development of this research involves several key steps to refine and enhance the understanding and application of the ideation card deck:

Inclusive Engagement: Seek perspectives from individuals with varying levels of familiarity with makerspaces and diverse cultural backgrounds to uncover potential biases and enhance the inclusivity of the ideation card deck.

Global Perspectives: Conduct testing in makerspace communities across different geographical locations and cultural settings to assess applicability in diverse contexts.

Glossary Inclusion: Introduce a glossary booklet during testing to improve participants' understanding of card definitions, enhancing clarity and overall user experience.

Diversified Testing, Cross-disciplinary Exploration: Explore the application of the ideation card deck in cross-disciplinary settings beyond makerspaces, such as educational institutions or innovation hubs, to gauge its versatility and adaptability.

Quantitative Measures: Use surveys or other quantitative instruments to gather data on user satisfaction, perceived effectiveness, and overall outcomes of the card deck use.

By pursuing the outlined next steps, the research aims to contribute to a more robust and adaptable ideation card deck in alignment with the diverse needs of makerspace communities, extending beyond its initial applications.

Please contact with inquiries.

This thesis was featured on as part of the 2023 student spotlight.

The Cards for the Collective ideation card deck and workbook were displayed at Philadelphia Design Week, October 4-11th, 2023.

The final book was designed and written to provide a detailed picture of my research trajectory and design process, from start to finish. The full publication can be found at (Contact for full access.)

© Mary Kahle, 2024