a blog post. (darn that’s an edgy name)

Two days left to go, and the big crunch has begun.  Although we’ve all been here before during projects back in Toronto, the challenges of working in a “pop-up” style design situation are teaching me some interesting things, and leading me to question some of my habits.  Similar to projects back home, our work days in villa are filled with discussions and are animated by an endless flow of sketches and diagrams.  We also scour the internet for information, and scratch together prototypes for form and functionality.  The major difference that we are still learning to grapple with is the lack of supplies and tools that are normally available.

On one hand it forces resourcefulness, for example today I had to install a button snap into fabric using a screw from a drawer handle as a punch, and a brick as a hammer.  Although this was an exciting achievement, it only makes me wonder how much more difficult this style of “pop-up” design would be in an even less developed country than India, or in a more rural setting.

It also makes me wonder about designers who regularly embed themselves in developing contexts, do they have a go to tool-kit for hacking together ideas and prototypes?  I find it funny to be thinking about how important these hacking skills might be, because I distinctly remember thinking the complete opposite three months ago in Toronto.  I distinctly remember worrying about whether I was too comfortable with ductape, and that I should consider committing to only 3D printing for a semester.  Not to say there isn’t value in being well versed with new technologies, but I’m being reminded about different skills for different contexts.

Anywho, as I’m writing this I’m still drawn to think about what our next move should be in the project.  We have about one day left, and we are taking a critical look at how to wrap up as best as we can.  There are so many things we would like to deliver, but right now it’s clear we have to be selective, because of road blocks we have hit with the material.  The deciding criteria really revolves around this: what are the most important things we can finalize to ensure the project can move on after we leave.  I’m finding this to be different from projects I’ve done before, because this criteria doesn’t necessarily mean focusing on the flashy portfolio pieces.  Instead of renders and mock-ups, we are focusing more on templates and instruction manuals for the women.  I wonder if this is a mindset that could translate to my work at OCAD.  Perhaps if I focused on making my projects a launching point instead of just mock-finished product, that they might have a different potential.  Maybe it would allow me to more easily revisit projects later and push them further, or perhaps they could be a launching point for some other student or designer who finds them online?  Who knows, but ok, time to get back to it,  36 hours to go!

(Shown below, a sweet stand-up desk 😉 the Amul pavilion, and some crafty henna hands)

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