BQ, a groundbreaking Spanish tech company, approached Studio Banana to help bridge the digital divide through an innovative education initiative.
This meant finding an engaging way to awaken the imagination and curiosity of both old and new generations. We would need to engage people in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM), inspire questions, foster creativity and create new synergies with educational institutions, tech businesses, startups, and creators.
We came up with CirCoLab – Spain’s first ever digital laboratory on wheels. The educational experience hit the road for a 90-day tour of the country, bringing innovative technologies to 5,000 participants of all ages across 39 cities. To bring the maker movement to rural and urban centres across Spain – which saw considerable media coverage – our team applied codesign strategies to the entire initiative, from UX design and programming to branding, product design, production and communication.
A noble goal: contributing to a tech-savvy nation
BQ operates under a strong commitment to education, focusing its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives on bringing technological know-how to Spanish people. They didn’t want to target just one demographic or focus their attention on densely-populated urban areas.
Our solution would need to respect BQ’s commitment to share their technical knowledge with all aspects of Spanish society.
Powering ahead with STEAM and maker movements
In the early stages of the project, we quickly identified intimate ties to the STEAM and maker movements. At Studio Banana, we have considerable experience in educational innovation and were excited to apply it to this project.
Ideation & Design
Data driven: bringing technology to the people
We needed a solution that would inspire curiosity and engage people through technological innovation. The initiative had to be at once attractive, accessible and simple. With this in mind, we came up with a tech lab on wheels to spread the message nationwide.
Our team designed an itinerary for BQ’s road trip, stopping in urban and rural areas across the country. Five educators would travel in two vans over a span of three months.
The initiative had to be disruptive and position BQ prominently in the field of educational innovation, reaching participants and potential clients in a way a standard publicity campaign never could. It would demystify technology by mixing it with crafts and everyday life experiences, as well as showing people how technology can change the world (and their own lives).
Codesigning a meaningful journey
The tech lab would need to make a genuinely positive impact on participants. We had to design an experience that went beyond education in a way that entertained and inspired, so it was vital to develop an optimal user journey.
We saw the road trip as a way of bringing people closer to the world of technology (and by association, BQ). With this in mind, we started the service design process by seeking answers to questions such as “what drives people to create?”, “how do we inspire curiosity in our technology lab?” and “how do we make this a satisfying experience?”
Service design: something for everyone
We sought to design an experience that would bring out the inner inventor in anyone, regardless of age or educational background. We developed a methodology and UX from a series of segmented workshops with different difficulty levels and areas of interest.
In the end, there were 40 different workshops across nine categories, including 3D Party, Electronic Textiles, Tech Crafts, Hacker Hour, Creative Coding, Games, Creative Biology, Green Tech and Science Magic.
Product design: custom fitting the dream machine
Our next step was to design the environment, materials and tools necessary to offer a far-reaching, flexible, entertaining, practical experience for all involved.
We customised two vans to guarantee the mobility of the initiative, featuring pods of Studio Banana’s own design for storing equipment and tools. This contributed to a pop-up environment that would allow the CirCoLab team to make easy modifications depending on the context and activity.
Branding a fun learning experience
The key concepts of this project were motivation, collaboration, experimentation, sharing, discovery, inspiration, celebration, learning and change. These ideas – and the fun, one-the-road aspect – evoked the magic of the circus. We wanted a name that would embody the excitement of a travelling show while adhering to the principles of STEAM and the maker movement.
We developed a dynamic, interactive visual identity that reflects the playful nature of CirCoLab and encourages people to “hack” and interact with it. The geometric elements and basic colours were inspired by the work of Wassily Kandinsky. This added to a whimsical feel that took us back to the games we played as children, a time when we first learned to build worlds using our imagination.
The branding was applied to multiple facets of the initiative: the CirCoLab van, social media, promotional material and merchandising.
Production: Kickstarting the smartest show on Earth
Before CirCoLab could set off, our logistics team worked meticulously to develop a specific itinerary. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes work to be done, such as managing partnerships, obtaining permits, providing the materials, and assisting BQ in recruiting the best educators.
Communication strategy: Roll up! Roll up!
We saw the CirCoLab communication strategy as yet another opportunity to build on the educational experience. With “CirCoLab_Moving Ideas” as our project slogan, we created social media content and documentation guidelines to ensure the initiative would reach those who were unable to physically participate in the workshops.
Crafting a meaningful experience for the client and the target
The CirCoLab project was a unique opportunity to put Studio Banana’s end-to-end multidisciplinary creative capacities into action. BQ, the client, was highly satisfied with the outreach, impact and educational achievements of the initiative.
Furthermore, the attendants (the learners) found the experience to be meaningful. Through in-situ testimonials they admitted to having demystified their view on technology after their participation in CirCoLab workshops.
The BQ brand awareness also increased as a result of the project. Although brand perception metrics were not tracked in the months following the experience, the insights gathered during the interactive workshops and the deeper understanding of the relationship of Spanish consumers with tech tools were identified by BQ as a strategic intangible asset of great value.
Other projects with impact on young targets
Want to know more?
To discover more about this project and how we can work together, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org