About Kylie Jean Thompson

Name: Kylie Thompson Major: Fibre Hello! I am 4th year material arts and design major. As an artist/design working in fibre I am compelled to think of the social significance of the material and how that relates to the larger concept. For me, working in fibre has kindled my passion for topics in feminist and contemporary social issue. I am crazy excited to start our studies in India. I feel this course will be a great opportunity to meet and connect with new people, and also to experience design in the real world. After 5 years at ocadu I’m looking forward to finally feeding my lust for travel.


After a much needed weeklong nap, I was finally able to reflect on the world-wind of a trip I had just experienced. Returning to Canada was a bittersweet endeavor and I believe each student on the trip left with life changing outlooks on the world. Although in many ways I’m happy to be home, in my privileged environment, I can’t help but feel a little depressed over the course’s completion. For me, the end of the trip marked a pivotal point in the conclusion of my undergraduate, but it also revealed the possibility of design outside of a university setting. Working with new, and different personalities was both a challenge and a rewarding insight. This trip no doubt gave me the new perspective I have been craving the last few years.

Returning home, I was faced by many people with one simple yet loaded question; “How was your trip?” As I settle back into my life, post-India, I met this inquiry with generic answers, like “awesome” or “great”. However, I know the truth to be much more complex then this.  India was incredible, beautiful, ugly, rich, poor, hot, cold, fast, slow, friendly, insightful, frustrating at times and full of surprising contradictions. My feelings for the country are neither love nor hate, nor are they ambivalent. I feel deeply for what I have learned and experienced, and can’t shake the feeling that I will one day return.

Plans into Action

We came to India a little over two weeks ago, and are now embarking on the ‘plans into action phase’ of the design process.  A week into the course I had strong doubts about the likelihood of finishing and implementing a co-design project of this scale in two weeks. From our previous studies at ocad U the students on this trip realized the significance of breaking the barrier between designer and user. Many of us have theorized this process in other classes, but never has the term “co-design” meant so much. With only four days left till the groups fly home and part ways, I am bemused by what we have accomplished in so little time. Though seemingly small or simplistic, when I think about the magnitude of a well-designed logo or the effects of a play space on developing children the outcome of what we’ve worked towards could be more then any of us imagined.

While working with the communities we’ve experienced our share of setbacks and cultural differences, but despite these obstacles we tried our best to keep the organizations involved. Going forward these last few days, there are sure to be unforeseen complications and pending questions. Even with the small amount of time we have spent with KESBO and Sadhana I have little doubt that the impact of our projects will affect everyone involved.