The final day of the course came very quickly. Today, the students presented the finished projects to their partnering organizations, key stakeholders, peers, instructor, and ISAC staff. It was a full, exciting day. A rented bus picked us up in the morning and we first traveled to KESBO. Here the students celebrated the opening of Unity Park, the playspace they co-designed and named with the boys and Mr. Ali. The students described their inspiration for the project and demonstrated its various uses. Then they invited the boys to play! We all enjoyed playing in the new space – from trying out the swings and monkey bars to testing the tire obstacle course and racing each other on the racetrack. The best part was watching the boys of all ages and abilities use the play structures together and help one other.
The students were thrilled to see their design come to life and completed. It is functional, it is in keeping with the limitations and challenges of the climate and landscape, it utilizes mostly reused materials, and came in under budget. The students put their own blood, sweat, and tears into building the playspace – from digging holes to mixing concrete, moving boulders to playing and working alongside the boys under the intense Indian sun.
The playspace was completed for under $200 CAD. Most importantly it included the ideas and input from Mr. Ali and the boys, who will be benefiting from it the most. The students completed an implementation plan that explains to the boys and Mr. Ali how the playspace was designed, how it can be used, and ideas for future expansion.
Then, as a group, we traveled to Sadhana. We were greeted even more enthusiastically than usual by the many children who have been a part of the Sadhana student group’s activities almost everyday for the past two weeks. The students displayed the banner created by the kids, as well as printed business cards and letterhead, which together highlight the versatility of their new logo design and identity for Sadhana.The surprise element to the presentation was the arrival of the freshly printed saris and kurtas delivered by Ravi, the textile printer. He arrived on his motorcycle to personally deliver the finished textiles.
The students talked about their experiences designing with Sadhana and the surrounding community. Savita talked about how much she and her staff learned from the students and about what design can encompass. She is pleased with the design and how it can be used to further the work Sadhana does to fight for the rights of all people, particularly those living in the cantonment areas. Savita handed out roses to each one of us thanking us for our work and contribution the organization
and the community.
Throughout the project the students learned about the power of imagery and the importance of a clear message to further an organization’s work. They worked through the challenge of distilling a huge amount of information and complexity to not only design a final image but also include the community and staff in the process. They took a logo one step further by integrating their design into culturally familiar forms – the sari, kurta, and henna. By doing so, they gave it more dimension and the opportunity to communicate in a way that just business card or poster alone could never do. Their work will help to visually unify a community and strengthen its message so that it can be heard and positive change can continue to be made. The students did this in under three weeks and spent less than $100 CAD.