How can you make prototypes which are ‘good enough’ to communicate the main working and visual elements of a concept; the ‘80:20 prototype’?

Prototype Hackery is a series of workshops, developed and facilitated at the MIT Media Lab and continued at conferences and organisations around the world, which brings people from academia and corporations together to facilitate discussions about this question. These forums which debate the reasons for and the tools to make and share prototypes aim to inspire the attendees to integrate the ‘hacker’ mindset - the utilization of existing resources in a clever fashion to suit other purposes – into their own creative design methodologies.

Workshops held at UK Procter & Gamble R&D site have inspired designers, engineers, scientists and management to understand the value of sharing rough prototypes, and the regeneration of disused workshop areas into ‘protospaces’ has enabled more employees to have access to the simple tools, techniques and materials needed to easily realise their ideas in physical form.

The Prototype Hackery handbook which accompanies these workshops is a summary of these exchanges of ideas about prototyping tools and techniques which can empower engineers, designers, and management alike to use inexpensive tools and found materials to quickly and cheaply create prototypes which are highly effective at communicating the physical experience of an idea.

Download the Prototype Hackery handbook here

This work has also been presented at a workshop at the 2011 DESIRE Creativity and Innovation conference at the Eindhoven University of Technology and included in their publication.