The Students Behind the Project 2019

“It takes a special kind of person to do this kind of work”.

A beautifully insightful comment I received from my mother when expressing how exceptional the Costa Rica team was.

Once returning to Canada when reflecting on my experiences to friends and family I realized how difficult it was to truly express the essence of the time we spent a together as a group. I chose to create a documentary following people involved in with the project, diving deeper into who they are as designers and humanitarians. Once deciding to shift my focus on the more human aspect of this project I became innately interested in how people tell narratives. Not necessarily documenting in the sense of formally telling the viewer what we did, but how it felt and how it was all connected to one another. I was very inspired by the initial meeting of the students on the first night in San Hose. All of us had different interests, specialized in different disciplines yet we all ended up here. I found it to be quite captivating the quick dynamic we established with one another very early on.

My final project consists of 2 types of documentation, one being a full-length documentary following the progress of our project alongside interviews with the students. The second aspect of the project follows 2D documentation in the form of an accordion-fold photo book. Intended to be viewed together or separately as it tells the same story but conveys a slightly different tone. The documentary will tell the narrative of the student perspective starting from project presentation then working backwards to show how we got there. The book however will tell the story of our journey chronologically with short chapter breaks introducing each new step of the project.

The two-part documentation is intended to be both inspiring and educational to the viewers. I believe tapping into the human experience and impact of a project like this is so important to encourage more participatory design methods to be implemented into regular design practices, as well as inspire more people to get involved in work like this. Not only is it incredibly rewarding but also generates real world change.

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