FAQ


I'm just a ____________, how can I contribute to BarnRaise?

No matter your background or area of work, there's a place for you at BarnRaise. We incorporate components of making and building which could entice engineers, architects, and more outside of the field of design. This event also engages participants in discussions about how to communicate designs, which we hope encourages public relations, marketing, and other communication professionals to get involved. Most importantly though, this event is about teaching new methods and techniques to address complex problems through actively using them... which can benefit anyone, no matter your field, position, and anything else.

Developers: Help us consider the back end design for systems solutions

Psychologists: Share methods on how to understand people, what they’re saying, and what they aren’t.

Entrepreneuers: Get inspired and teach others how to pivot when needed

Non-profit leaders: Come bring your expertise in creating major change on a budget

Public servants: Bring that passion for our city to solve issues that affect its occupants

Teachers: Help us teach others straightforward ways of communicating.

Designers: Come share frameworks and strategies to tackle complex problems

Copywriters: Help us tell stories about the problems users and Chicagoans face

Not listed here and want to know more? Email us at barnraise@id.iit.edu

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Why is there a fee to participate?

Great question! While BarnRaise is taking a different format than a traditional conference, many of those key components still exist- from speakers and networking opportunities to social hours. That said, because we're experimenting with a new model for such an event, we were able to cut the price of attendance in half for the event, and couldn't be happier about the ability to do so. We hope this will help make cost a less prohibitive factor for some attendees and are offering discounts to current graduate students who are interested in participating as well. We're still looking for sponsors for this year's event, and hope that in the future, the generous donations of organizations may make it possible for us to lower costs to invite more of the community in.

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Are there any discounts for the event?

While we're extremely excited to announce that costs have been literally cut in half with respect to previous conferences IIT Institute of Design has hosted, we're trying to keep the cost structure as simple as possible. Because of this, there are no group discounts. That said, we are offering a discount to current graduate students. Verification for current enrollment may be requested for individuals purchasing this ticket type.

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How can I help spread the word about BarnRaise?

We have the following downloadable resources complete with content that can be directly copied or modified to match the tone of your organization. Help us create a bigger buzz around BarnRaise on social media, newsletters, and your networks. Visit our Media Kit page for downloads.

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Did you know the Monday of BarnRaise is Columbus Day?

Yep, we realized that. However, the events on Monday begin in the evening with an energizing reception hosting keynote speakers and an introduction to your teams for the following two days. We really want Monday to be relaxing and exciting for you, and this extra time during the day will allow national travelers to settle in before diving deep into some great problem solving!

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What happened to the DRC (the Design Research Conference)?

IIT Institute of Design has a previous student-organized event called the Design Research Conference which was a great way to bring our community together and learn from one another. However, when this year's team got together to plan that event, we realized that there were a lot of opportunities to revitalize that experience and showcase more of the values of our school. As the New Bauhaus with curriculum based on Bauhaus model, IIT Institute of Design values making things: so we added prototypes as a final deliverable for all teams. Students also value multidisciplinary teamwork and complex problem-solving, so we made sure everyone knows they're invited outside the field of design and problems teams will be tackling are real world issues from active organizations around Chicago. Students also value learning through action and application, so we created a live experience where you not only get the opportunity to learn but to react to that learning within teams. BarnRaise came out of conversations about how to incorporate these types of values, and we hope you'll join us in discovering how far we can take this new event!

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Do you think your topic makes the whole concept too "hyper-local"?

We thought about that. When we started on this idea of BarnRaise, we were thinking about Chicago. However, as we started building out different scenarios and what's of value to our potential participants, we realized that some of the topics we'll be tackling affect other communities as well. So instead of saying "safety in Chicago" we reframed the topic to "Urban Safety". We aspire that the ideas we develop together at BarnRaise can spark programs and prototypes in other cities as well.

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My company might be interested in participating in some capacity... what do I need to know?

First of all, you're awesome. We love you for being proactive! Here's some helpful information to start you off, and please email us at barnraise@id.iit.edu if you'd like to have a deeper discussion about partnering or sponsorship. You can participate as a...

Partnering design firm:

  • We're not asking for money.
  • We are asking for 1-2 facilitators for two afternoon working sessions. If space is available in your firm, we would ask you use that to host teams of 10 (plus facilitators and one ID graduate aid as needed). If you don't have room, we're happy to accommodate extra space at 350 N. Lasalle.
  • We are asking that facilitators develop the content they want to communicate to their teams, which will probably involve some sort of analysis and synthesis leading to a final deliverable of any number of prototypes.
  • Depending on the number of teams hosted by the design firm, we're giving the facilitators of each team a free ticket to BarnRaise so they can enjoy speakers, networking, and all after-hours events as well. Party!

Partnering community organization:

  • We're not asking for money.
  • You can be anyone... a civic institution, non-for-profit organization, for-profit organization, corporation... anything!
  • We want to understand some key issues your group is working around or upon related to our theme: Urban Safety in an Open Source World. Our teams will work with you to develop short design briefs that teams ideate upon, have conversations about, and build solutions for. 
  • These partners get a free ticket for anyone in their organization to attend BarnRaise, in the hopes that they can bring ideas created for their organization back with stories and context around the objects created. We also feel this level of participation encourages co-creation during the synthesis stage.

BarnRaise Sponsor:
Hey, thanks for thinking of helping us out financially! If you take a peek above, we discuss how we're not asking for money from our partners directly involved in the event, and we cut ticket prices in half for all attendees with respect to previous conferences put on by our school. We did this in order to make price less of an issue for our community we want to be a part of BarnRaise! That said, as a non-for-profit educational institution, we certainly need the help of supporting organizations and companies like yours who are considering sponsoring this event. Sponsorship not only helps make the event a success, it shows that you support community building through collective problem solving and that you are proactively supporting our topic space, this year: Urban Safety in an Open Source World.

Have a question not listed here? Email us directly at barnraise@id.iit.edu.