Prototyping the Meaning of Life

This week in CEP 817 we have entered into the Prototyping stage.  For the lab activity, we were given a number of abstract ideas to create a rough prototype of using materials on hand.  Those ideas were:

  • Your view of learning
  • Your view of teaching
  • Your view of the meaning of life
  • Everyone matters
  • The value of creativity
  • Things don’t always make sense (e.g. 2 + 2 = 5)
  • Our connected world

As you may have guessed from the title, I chose to make one about the meaning of life.  We were supposed to use three to twelve items to create the prototype.  I used:

  • Large cardboard box
  • Dog food container
  • Some tore up dog toys
  • A little dog hat
  • A collar
  • A basket thing
  • A marker
  • A screw

In order to understand why I did this, you need some background information.  My friend’s wife has had a dog for 12 years or so named Max.  Max passed away last week, so they wanted to bring their kids to visit so they could be with my puppy, Masha, in an attempt to cheer up their daughter in particular.  They also brought most of Max’s old stuff (the dog food container, little hat, collar, and basket thing listed above included).


14183881_10153757227162536_8007905969755390919_n (2)
This is Max

So, as I was trying to figure out what to do for the prototype, I kept running into Max’s old things, and it occurred to me just how much my friend’s wife would love to spend just one more afternoon with Max.  Which led to me thinking about my future with Masha and how I one day would have to take a similar trek to pass on Masha’s stuff .  That reminded me of what I refer to as the circle of life.


This is Masha.


I decided to interpose Masha’s toys with the stuff that once was Max’s. I wanted to include the words Circle of Life, so I found a large box to put the items on.  I then decided to use Max’s old collar in place of the word circle and Masha’s snake for the I in life.  The mixing of Max’s and Masha’s possessions is a reminder to me to live the moments that I have with Masha to the fullest.  To remember that when she gets covered in mud like this:


to laugh rather than get angry.  In short, it is a reminder to me that the true meaning of life is living every moment to the fullest and leaving an impact on the people around you so that you can live on in them.

The most difficult part of the process was coming up with the idea.  I also was intrigued by how the idea changed slightly as I went about creating the prototype.  The use of the collar had more impact on me than just writing the word circle, for instance.  Here is the finished product:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s