Monthly Archives: July 2013

Storytelling, Upcycling + Community Engagement: In Conversation with Participate in Design

The First Interview!

I’m very excited to share my conversation with Jan Lim and Mizah Rahman, founders of the design non-profit Participate in Design (P!D) in Singapore. These two designers are doing inspiring work by embedding themselves in Singapore’s MacPherson community and applying participatory design methods to engage citizens across generations, ethnicities, and socioeconomic scales. If you’re interested in how to apply storytelling and repurposing to community engagement, watch the video below or read the full transcript. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation and glean some inspiration on how to engage your community!Continue Reading

IDEO HCD course: 5 Strategies for Team Formation

design thinking

Our team, the Gumbo Gabbers, has fully launched into the IDEO/+Acumen HCD course. We’re moving along with Week 2’s Discover phase but a lot of insights have come about just in our first week while forming our group.

(Re)Introductions to HCD

The first official week of the course was an introduction to each other (for the third time) and to the human-centered methodology. In short, we did an ice breaker, brainstorming, and two mini-design activities. You can find the workshop content here to get the full scope of activities.

After the first workshop, I noticed some tactics that I thought would be helpful for any group or team that is starting out. Some of these are well-known and others were new to me. You can apply these to a team working on a building project, a business, a hackathon, a community project, etc. If it involves people working together to create something, these five strategies will help you.
Continue Reading

6 Ways to Practice Ethical Design

what is good design?

How do you get paid to do good work? This has been a question I’ve been attempting to answer for well over five years.

Just Do It

My first true, go-out-and-do-it attempt was a year and a half ago when I joined a friend to start a public interest design practice.

First off, neither of us had run a business or practice before so we had to quickly learn basic marketing, sales, operations, and management. Second, we wanted to focus on working with ethically-minded people and organizations, who typically aren’t the highest funded. Organizations like, Frog Design, D-Rev, Design Impact, and MASS who were all succeeding were who we aspired to become.Continue Reading

Grow Up, Urban Farming: Aquaponics Takes on London

You know when you’re deciding what to cook for a group of people and trying to appease all the different taste preferences? No gluten. No red meat. No dairy. No vegetables. Wait–what?!? Well, I’m easy when it comes to veggies. I’ve never met a vegetable that I didn’t like.

Growing up in California–the state that produces 15% of the United States’ crops–my childhood diet was based on access to a plethora of fresh vegetables and fruit. My family’s home was part of a development built on an apricot farm so the area that wasn’t covered by the homes, driveways, street, and grass remained many of the original apricot trees. I spent many summers harvesting apricots off of our trees, halving and pitting them to lay out on boards to dry or preparing them to be canned and jammed.

apricots_farlaneContinue Reading

IDEO HCD Course: Team Formation

Exploring Borough Market

July 2nd marked our first month in London. We’re still not fully settled in, which I’m learning to reset my expectations and take it easy. This weekend we’re finally moving into our permanent flat, which I should disclose was our choice to go with one that we liked but wasn’t open until July. We don’t have our trusty smartphones, but somehow are surviving. (First world problems, I know.) Our new bank continues to baffle us with lack of efficiency in setting up our online log-in, phone access, and debit cards. (Really, you don’t want our money?) Despite this, we’re still getting out to explore this new city, meet friends, and indulge in pub culture.Continue Reading