Today, teampact organized a workshop on prototyping for the tutors of Umweltproblemlösen, a bachelor’s course offered at the Department of Environmental Systems Science of ETH Zürich. In UPL, how the course is colloquially called, first year bachelor students analyse a problem from the field of sustainability and develop solutions to it. The student teams are guided through the process by tutors who were participants of the course in a previous year.

The goal of our workshop is to broaden the tutors’ mind about prototyping and discuss different ways how they can support the students in prototyping. In the first part, we presented an engineering perspective of prototyping. The tutors then discussed the difference between prototyping in engineering and UPL and what elements they can include in UPL prototypes. In the second part of the workshop, the tutors brainstormed solutions for the problem of a rising sea level in Fiji and built prototypes of those solutions. The focus hereby was to become more conscious of prototyping: “What message should the prototype get across?” “How complex does the prototype have to be?” “What kind of feedback do I want to provoke with it?” At the same time, the tutors practiced presenting a prototype to an audience and giving feedback on prototyping. The third part of the workshop was then dedicated to discussing the role of the tutors during the prototyping sessions of UPL and how they can effectively support the students.

Altogether, it was an awesome workshop with splendid people and many fruitful and intriguing discussions.

Introduction to the workshop

Collecting their prototyping experiences from last year

Presenting an engineering perspective of prototyping




Presenting their prototype

Discussing the role of a UPL tutor in the different prototyping phases

Having fun with energizers