Reflection Week 1.2 (or otherwise known as travelling at the speed of light)

As a designer and student you need to think outside the box. And once a lot of people come together and combine their boxes, great idea forts can be built. You are not alone and some of the biggest innovations have been created by teams of great individuals. Networks can enable you a whole new way of thinking and creating by introducing you to likeminded professionals that enhance or contribute to your work. Especially what the IWF is planning can greatly benefit from the networks of funders and researchers but what is even more exciting to see is – how can the affected communities be involved in resolving the problem? Can jobs be created and education provided? If helping a community is the overall objective, I would love to find ways for design to enable a group to help itself. Emily Pilloton’s ‘Project H’ was a big eye opener for me as I had never seen design and community work being so well connected and working in harmony.

The International Water Foundation has a unique proposition to solve one of the most important humanitarian problems of our time. What is required in order to achieve the organisations main objectives is a boost in awareness about their existence and goals. Francois stated that only few people are interested in the integrally-informed perspective and that a social media strategy is needed to share enthusiasm for water from a human culture angle.

While the strategy is aiming to create awareness and furthermore fund the project, in my opinion the IWF needs to look at creating a unique and memorable experience that involves the public, affected communities and researchers. One of their main objectives is to influence people aged 29 and younger – a great challenge for us as we as designers are also part of the target group. Having said this the IWF is facing more than just this challenge. Their entire appearance and way of interacting with the general public needs to be reassessed as Francois said and I am excited that they are aiming to do this after our collaboration in order to utilise our input. It is fantastic to hear that the NGO can’t wait for our ideas and want to implement them even further than just the strategy we will be working on.

I would love our outcome to be more than just a scream for attention. I want our campaign to make people think and polarise entire communities. While I understand the importance of funding for this project I particular enjoy the thought that we could cause a shift in mind-set. Most of us see water as a given part of daily life but what if we can change this thinking instead of just asking for money?

In order to achieve this outcome, I will bring a few qualities to the table. The main one being my organisational skills – I enjoy taking chaos and turning it into a beautifully working organism and monitor it. As I have been working in management for the last 4 years I am looking forward to applying my skills but also adding experience and learning even more.

Being thrown in the deep end is not everyone’s favourite way of starting something new. It can be confusing, scary and irritating. After the first few days in this programme I am starting to connect the missing links and get everything organised for our team. I too am confused, but as Nancy said – be confusiastic. I am confusiastic about how exactly we will be involved in creating the strategy and how we will be able to make proper use of the communities as such but the enthusiastic portion of the word is a lot bigger than the confusion.

My goal is to get everyone excited about our project and have them contribute in the best way possible for them. I don’t want everyone just to get good grades but for them to grow along the way as I think that is why we are all here. Not only me and the team but also the NGO and even our tutors will learn during Project community about themselves, communities and design and how they are all connected. What an exciting start to the year!

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.” – Fred Devito

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