Based on your life experience, skills and interests, what would a design process that is both uniquely yours and effective look like?
The first step to my unique design process would be to define a general task or issue which I want to solve, and to envision a rough estimate of what I hope to create in resolution. From my own experiences, I know that I work best when I have a clear vision in my mind of what my end goal is, and where I can plan out a path of action to guide my efforts and stay on task. Along these lines, I would then make a step by step checklist to go through all the necessary components and tasks that need to be completed along the way. Now, I will be able to check off tasks as I accomplish them, and clearly see my progress or record challenges that stand in my way. On a day to day basis, I plan out all my activities and meetings on a notepad, and as the day goes along I check off things as they are completed. This not only restores a sense of accomplishment in myself, but also ensures I don’t forget any little details.
Next, I would engage in research, most likely through as much communication as possible. I know that I learn best through listening to others and collaborating with them to come to solutions. Hence, communicating to hear ideas and issues from people involved first-hand in these scenarios ensures validity in my work and helps me to develop a true sense of where I should be heading. Personally, I would create prototypes and models and test them as I go, rather than making then entirely and then test them. I find it’s best to have progress checks along the way, so issues can be addressed and resolved one at a time as opposed to building up on one another. Further, there would need to be multiple final tests of my designs, as I like to be sure that what I’m putting forward can be trusted and will work in the long run. Here, I can also incorporate opinions and insight from others too, to further validate my work.
Implementing my design would be a big deal, since putting hard work into projects means a lot to me, and I make sure that projects I am putting forward I am proud of. Hence, I believe that the implementation phase should be somewhat of a celebration, or exciting time for all those involved. Once this is complete, I would give it some time to take effect, then resort again to outside sources and other testing forms to receive feedback. Inevitably, very few designs run without any kinks the first time around, so I need to focus on not taking others’ opinions critically and instead use them to look at the design in a new light.
How will you validate your project concept, technology, usability, operational / business model?
As previously mentioned, I greatly value a diverse range of input and insight when constructing project concepts and models, so I will likely seek a great deal of validation through others’ opinions. Of course, these must be taken with a grain of salt, and I should have a method to distinguish those who are credible from those who may just be critical without backing to their points. In regards to the Philippines Plastic Project, we are attempting to reach out to as many cooperatives, non-profit organizations, and community resources as possible, to gather their insight into the specific problems that need to be addressed in Manila, as well as to introduce our concept and hear their feedback. Getting a strong sense of the ecosystem we will be implementing this business model into will create a structural outline for the work that needs to be done, and set us up to face any inevitable challenges in the area. As far as the technology, we are also reaching out to other plastics recycling and waste management groups, to get insight on processes and machinery they currently use to develop similar plastics recycling projects.
Articulate your philosophy of engagement with communities, partners, and markets.
Having a strong engagement with the communities and women’s cooperative once arriving to Manilla is essential to the success of this project in general. Primarily, inclusivity and transparency are two aspects which will ensure the engagement of locals, and help develop a sustainable system that will not fall apart without our help. To do so, we must make sure that we include the local groups and community people as much as possible, so they can become interested and passionate about using the machinery and being able to create their own sources of income through projects. Transparency comes into play so that these people do not feel as though we are coming in and taking over their ecosystems, or looking to completely destroy their communities for our own gains. Instead, it will be essential that we clearly deliver our message that we are proposing and offering a solution to not only the plastic waste issue, but also the gender and socioeconomic gaps in society. Again, it is of the utmost importance that we do not show any arrogance, but demonstrate a genuine interest in helping these people to recognize and unlock their potentials.