What is bodystorming?

Bodystorming is a unique method that spans empathy work, ideation, and prototyping. Bodystorming is a technique of physically experiencing a situation to derive new ideas. It requires setting up an experience – complete with necessary artifacts and people – and physically “testing” it. Bodystorming can also include physically changing your space during ideation. What you’re focused on here is the way you interact with your environment and the choices you make while in it.

Why bodystorm?

We bodystorm to generate unexpected ideas that might not be realized by talking or sketching. We bodystorm to help create empathy in the context of possible solutions for prototyping. If you’re stuck in your ideation phase, you can bodystorm in the context of a half-baked concept to get you thinking about alternative ideas. Designing a coffee bar? Set up a few foam cubes and “order” a coffee! Bodystorming is also extremely useful in the context of prototyping concepts. Have a couple concepts you’re testing? Bodystorm with both of them to help you evaluate them. Developing any sort of physical environment demands at least a few bodystorms…

How to bodystorm?

  1. Get up
  2. Do it

It’s pretty simple, really. Get physical! If you are trying to ideate in the context of hospital patients, try walking through the experience to come up with new ideas. If you are designing products for the elderly, rub some Vaseline on your glasses to view the world through older eyes. Bodystorm by moving around and becoming aware of the physical spaces and experiences related to your solutions. Pay close attention to decision-making directly related to your environment and related emotional reactions. Dig into the “WHY”!


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