Build Your Vehicle

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Download the activity template to the right.

Full description


  • To reflect on the elements that build a situation, a company, or an idea.
  • To build a better understanding of the relationships between the most important elements that a situation or topic consists of.

Facilitation Instructions

  • This activity uses the vehicle as a metaphor for a given topic or situation (for example, the university library), and labels the various parts of the vehicle with how participants experience it -that is, who is driving the vehicle? What does it run on? And so on.
  • Instruct participants to start by drawing an image of a car, bicycle, ferry, submarine - whatever vehicle resonates with them. It may be helpful to draw this large. The facilitator will provide prompts as participants draw.
  • After activity, bring participants together to share their their drawings.
  • Prompts:
    • Who or what is at the steering wheel or leading? Are you in the driver’s seat or along for the ride? How is the driver navigating? Do they know which road to take? What is the driver thinking?
    • Who or what are the passengers? Is it people or cargo?
    • Who or what is the motor? What keeps it running? Is the vehicle running as designed or broken down?
    • Who or what is the fuel? How much fuel is there (running on empty)?
    • What is the road like? Is it bumpy or smooth? An uphill climb or easy street? A one-way street? Forked road? At a crossroads? Are there obstacles?
    • What are the windshield wipers or headlights? What helps you see clearly?
    • Is the vehicle in motion? Is it stopped? Stuck? Flying along?
    • What kind of environment is it in?

    Products Generated

    • Each participant will come away with a drawing of their vehicle with the component parts labeled and described. These can be annotated throughout the discussion, if additional documentation is needed./li>

    Time/Commitment Needed

    • Primary Activity
    • ~30 minutes


    75 Tools for Creative Thinking

    Additional Information

  • Reflection Prompts:
    • Was this activity fun, challenging, interesting? What made it is?
    • What did you find to be the most difficult part of this activity?
    • What are some common themes that you see throughout all of the drawings? What is something unique?
    • Can we draw any conclusion about the [topic]?
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