2) Introduction - Projects
“Project work is the primary focus point of Design for Need, it’s our bread and butter”
17th August 2017 - Introduction, Design for Need, Projects
By Finn Brownbill
Welcome back to Design for Need’s Introductory series of articles. Last article I talked about who we were, focusing on our story, mission and values. In this article we’ll start to focus on the activities Design for Need focus on, most notably ‘Project Work’. Essentially, we’ve covered the heart and soul of the social enterprise, now let’s focus on the handywork of our arms. Before I get too deep into the personification analogy and start talking about what colour eyes Design for Need would have, let’s get on with it.
Our activities at Design for Need are threefold: Project-work, Advising and Community. In this article I will focus on Project-work as it is the main functionality of the company and certainly deserves an article all to itself. Details about advising and community will be in the next article, so check back in a few days or follow us on social media to keep up to date.
Project work is the primary focus point of Design for Need, it’s our bread and butter. Through initiating design-based projects we are able to create meaningful change that will help communities worldwide, this is through providing improved technologies or services. By doing so the company will be chipping away at our vision to help create a world without poverty, global inequality and environmental injustice. The majority of the company's assets will be put towards creating projects which reflect the company's aims and values. This is done through working with organisations in developing countries who want to improve their community. Through collaboration we can co-create and implement solutions based on their problems. We ensure these solutions are always environmentally friendly, low-cost, effective and sustainable. Each solution is tailor made for the needs of the communities we are working in. Therefore, this takes the society as a whole including their culture, environment, economy and resources.
In the depths of our Business plans we have created a detailed system, from start to finish, of the journey of implementing a project fully. However, for simplicity's sake and to save all readers from extreme boredom, I have separated the process into three sections: Discovery, Proposal and Implementation.
The ‘Discovery’ phase requires a lot of preparation and planning. During this preliminary stage Design for Need gets in contact with a community and often a local charity to begin our collaborative work in the community. Upon travelling to the targeted community, a project brief will be drawn up focusing on the community’s biggest needs.
Once returning to the UK, we begin the second stage: ‘Proposal’. This is where we get our hands dirty and start drawing up plans of sustainable designs and services which are tailor made to the problem area of the community we are in contact with. It is at this point where potential collaboration with others can blossom. Either with fellow design and technology companies, design students or anyone who wants to help with this phase, we are just a handshake away. After the creation of a successful prototype, we propose the idea to the our collaborators within the community whilst also asking for any necessary feedback.
Once our prototype has been accepted, we will then travel back to the community to begin stage three: ‘Implementation’. In this final stage we work with leading officials and members of the community to teach them about our service and how it functions and is maintained. After using local resources and a workforce to implement the solution, the service is complete. The community now has complete ownership of the project and may alter and improve it in whatever areas deemed necessary. We make sure to look back to see the progress the community has made, following the implementation of the project to hear of any comments or analysis that can be taken on board for future projects. By then, we will over the moon and on to the next project.
As you might remember from the first article ‘Pure Water’ was the first project which stemmed Matt’s wish to pursue a company which would eventually take shape as ‘Design for Need’. Although this process didn’t follow the exact same process as how we wish to implement our future projects, it shared similarities and certainly possessed the same amount of drive to get the job done.
Well there we go; Projects in a nutshell. Not only will projects make a real difference and help Design for Need succeed in its objective, it will also make our blog a lot more interesting. This is because whilst project work is taking place, we want to keep you as informed as we possibly can. Therefore, I will be typing away giving you information on the parties/stakeholders we are collaborating with, summaries of the communities we’re working with/in, any progress made, developments on prototypes and much much more. And I promise to make it an interesting read too. Next article will focus on our other two activities: ‘Advising’ and ‘Community’. Oh sounds intriguing eh?... Please come back. Well that about wraps it up, but if you’re still wondering what colour eyes Design for Need has, please send a message either below, or connect with us on one of social media platforms to find out.
See you soon,
A co-founder of a sustainable design company without any design experience. Sounds ideal right? Hey ho, that’s not why I’m here. I’m the chief editor of the blog and I do plenty more (non-design related) jobs too.