Thursday, the 15th of August, was not only the last day of the 2013 summer semester, but it was our final presentation to representatives of Triple Quest. This accelerated class was full of its challenges, excitement, sweat, and experiences that we will each take with us and hold dearly in our hearts, future careers and lives.
Our final presentation consisted of reintroducing our knowledge and research of the Base of the Pyramid, Triple Bottom Line, Human Centered Design, Dominican Republic demographics, systematic/social challenges, and the Dominican batey and authoritarian structure. Overall, our audience was very pleased with our presentation and solutions! They enjoyed the prototypes, asked great questions, and were genuinely intrigued by the information and ideas.
The sociology component of Tony Baker’s class to the collaborative design studio class contributed very important understandings and inspiration to better designing solutions. We have learned to design with empathy, to explore our world and communities to learn why there may be barriers or boundaries, and that who or what having power makes a great impact.
Carly Gussert’s final video recaps our experience beautifully!
Our ideation process led us to our final solution and proposal of a modular gardening system and suggested partnership with Solar Sister to further pursue entrepreneurial models and solar energy. The modular system is raised off the ground due to the island’s heavy rainfall, soil erosion, animals, and serves as a visual indication to avoid it from being walked through like the typical row garden. We also had the challenge to create a universal solution that can be used globally, in different climates. The modular pods of the garden system can be mounted on a vertical surface such as an outside corner of a home, or windowsill. The pods can be set on the ground if necessary, and also serve as a composting system so there is no waste. There was talk afterwards of a lid/cover possibility to convert the pods into food storage.
You may recall from previous posts that at the beginning of our ideation phase was the key idea to incorporate educational and economic opportunity within our solution. Entrepreneurialism (a word we’ve been practicing speaking and writing more than ever!) is very important to Triple Quest.
As any study abroad experience goes, it is a memory that will be not be forgotten. We are so thankful to Triple Quest and KCAD for giving us the opportunity to travel and study a product in-country! Not having the in-country, culturally immersive experience, would have made designing improvements and understanding process completely different. We each gained unique, emotional insight into the lives of Dominicans and Haitians, as well as the power we have as designers and creative thinkers to benefit a bigger picture.
For our full presentation, please credit us to the hard work as you share this pdf. Collaborative Design Presentation
We would also like to thank all of those who have been following and interested in our journey throughout the entire semester! Thank you for the support! We hope that Kendall will be able to offer this trip again for other young designers to experience. Get to know the students of our class a bit…
Some kids dream about being a superhero, so they can save the world one day. Joseph Parr dreams about making the world a better place through a different method, design. His superpowers include sketching, modeling, and creating ideas. Entrepreneurship is an avenue that he is investigating to establish his own opportunities and to give himself personal freedom and independence in design. Joseph is a senior in Industrial Design. He has been an active member of IDSA during school and resident of West Michigan since childhood.
Carly Rae Gussert was born and raised in the woods of Iron Mountain, Michigan. She moved to Grand Rapids, MI and is currently a senior at Kendall College of Art and Design studying Digital Media, focusing on Motion Graphics and Video while also minoring in Collaborative Design. She’s interned for TedxGrandRapids Livestream team, currently works for Kendall College of Art and Design producing video content and dapples in freelance work. Carly hopes to use her degree to pursue her passion towards working with others at a motion graphic production company along with filming social documentaries.
Interior design, architecture, and helping others have been major interests and aspirations since childhood. Amanda Klein, born and raised in the Walker area of Grand Rapids, is a senior at KCAD majoring in interior design and minoring in collaborative design. She is the current president of the Kendall Green Council and has helped lead Kendall in a more sustainable direction. Other involvements she commits to on campus is IIDA and student mentoring. Amanda works hard and volunteers often to understand the greater impacts that design has on human and environmental well being. She hopes to one day soon earn the opportunity to apply her passion for design in a way that can ultimately help people, business, and communities flourish in productivity and happiness.
Sabrina Johnson’s aspirations have been evolving her entire life, with one idea remaining constant- design. She grew up in Midland Michigan, knowing always she was to leave, and moved to Grand Rapids Michigan to attend Kendall College of Art and Design to study Interior Design. She is currently a sophomore, interested in working and collaborating with other designers from Kendall and hopes there are many team projects in her future. For now though, she is keeping the rest of her plans wide open, for anything that may come her way.
Jordan Eastwood is a student at Kendall College of Art and Design majoring in industrial design. He was born and currently resides in Grand Rapids, MI. His life here has made him become a well-rounded and multi-talented individual. He did clasp designs and laser welding as a partial denture repair technician. He was a kickboxer and martial arts instructor. He also did quality control as an inspector for the natural gas industry. He currently is an intern for an industrial design studio where he does a multitude of tasks including prototype making. His passion for design comes from the sense of accomplishment he gets when a concept becomes tangible. He likes the challenge of the development of an idea from a sketch to a fully rendered design. He takes inspiration from all his interests whether it’s science fiction films, industrial music, steam-punk, muscle cars or design firms like IDEO. All these things culminate into a unique design perspective that allows him to feel satisfaction at every stage of the design process.
Jenny Tidrick is an interior design student with an eclectic array of interests and experiences. Area’s of academic and professional interest, aside from design, include psychology and communication. She loves how these things, when combined with design, have the ability to influence human behavior and emotion. Her objective is to work in an environment that allows her to work interpersonally with users, and use her creative talents and communication skills to best serve their needs.
Mabel Acosta studies Operations and Supply Management at the main campus of Ferris State University up in Big Rapids, MI. She was born in Brooklyn, NY where her parents were living with her mom’s sister and family. She strolled the streets of NYC for a bit before heading back with her family to their home country of Dominican Republic, where most of her family resides. Mabel decided on her major so she can be a voice for those in the workforce and create an encompassing environment where her employees feel appreciated. Not surprisingly, she loves to be around other people and partake in things such as sports with her energetic personality. Her favorite two are soccer and dance. When getting ready for this trip, she was so excited for all of us to learn about the Dominican culture that she began by bringing in food for the class and showing us how to dance Merengue and Bachata, two dances widely celebrated by the people.
This is not the end!!!!!!
Or so we hope.
The semester may officially be over but please share our journey and be inspired to do your own research! If not on the Dominican Republic or Hydraid, find something. There is and will always be something, a cause, a bigger social roadblock, a process you do not understand, a country or location that intrigues you, a new or old issue that you can be passionate about. Whether you are an artist, designer, businessman, teacher, store clerk, mechanic, blue collar or white collar, we hope you feel a fire within you to explore and learn, to better your life as you better the lives of others throughout whatever medium you possess!!
Adios amigos, muchas gracias, y buena suerte!