Border Town Design Jam

photo courtesy of

One of our dear friends (and Homework presenter), Tim Maly, from the great city of Toronto is hosting an event continuing off of the work he did with the Border Town Design Studio last year.

Here’s the details, if you’re in the area (and here’s more detailed information):


From Friday March 2, 2012 to Saturday March 3, teams of clever people will get together to solve a User Experience problem relating to border towns. Would you like to be one of them?

Border Town Design Jam (#btdj)
Using border towns as a point of entry, we’ll approach political geography as a design problem. This design jam will take place over 1 day (and a half), from March 2 to 3, 2012. Tickets are now available on Eventbrite. This event is presented in collaboration with ThingTank Lab.

Interested in seeing and hearing the results of this jam? We’re opening up our final show and tell to the general public – get your free tickets to attend here!


The topic and design challenge will be revealed at the kickoff party on Friday March 2, 2012, 6PM. However, here’s a hint:  ”Everyone must pass”

About Design Jams
Design Jams are one-or-two-day design sessions, during which people team up to solve engaging User Experience (UX) challenges. Learn more about Design Jams. 

Who should attend Design Jams
Anyone really – Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) & Design Students, Interaction Designers, UX Researchers, Information Architects, UI Designers, Web Designers, Graphic Designers, Hardware Hackers, Policy Nerds, Developers + more… The day aims to improve collaboration skills and help attendees learn and practice various UX techniques including but not limited to Research, Brainstorming, Sketching, Wireframing and Prototyping.

What happens at a Design Jam?
Attendees sign up in advance. Upon arrival they assign themselves to teams based on the skills they could contribute and what they’d like to learn. Teams are then presented a design challenge that they tackle by doing research, sketching, guerrilla testing and other UX techniques. They are encouraged to share their process and ideas halfway through enabling them to get feedback from other teams as well as other mentors in attendance during the day. The day concludes with final presentations to the entire group. Outcomes could take the form of sketches, storyboards, a video or even a prototype – whatever communicates the idea best.

What happens to the ideas we come up with?
All output materials will be shared on the Border Town and ThingTank Lab websites, and teams will be asked to compose a blog post about their design process and ideas.

To facilitate the free exchange of ideas, all outputs, visualizations and other contributions made during the day must be contributed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. This basically means anyone can use ideas generated at the Design Jam, as long as they credit the original authors.


Feel free to contact any of the following with questions and queries.

From Border Town design studio (@dividedcities)
Emily Horne @birdlord & Tim Maly @doingitwrong

From ThingTank Lab (@thingtankTO)
Marie-Eve Belanger @wrongposture