Week 25 « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

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Week 25 – Prototyping in the Market’s area

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Taking last week’s learning’s onboard, this week was make or break for a number of projects and the prototype projects went into overdrive! The team were working flat out to make sure that their prototypes came together in the best way possible, while dealing with the challenges that were arising and the natural fear of failure.

Nuala’s project called City Works had all hands on deck to make sure 25 people posters of varying sizes got to the printers in time to be with us by the weekend for pasting up in the Market’s Area. Tara’s ownership project, called Microcosmic Intervention, has evolved into a small intervention in St Michans Flats, where she is working with moss, stencilling and pallets to create a relaxing atmosphere. Una and John have been pushing their project, called Golden Path, to find new ways of addressing safety and navigation in the City. Vincent is hard at work in the Market’s building, turning discarded pallets into furniture for people to stop, sit and relax on for his project called Urban Living.

Micheál has been making waves outside the old Tax building near the Four Courts, where he has been gathering materials and testing what the space could look like if it were transformed with nature through his Pop-up Park. Lindsay has been busy editing video interviews of people in the Market’s Area and securing broadcast locations for his Broadcasting People project. You might catch a preview of this project over the next few days, if you pass The Exchange in Temple Bar. Shane and Mary are busy harvesting the results of their first DigitalMary process, contacting key stakeholders and planning a follow-up process to push the creativity network further. Finally, Eimear is putting the finishing touches to the 10/10/10 Laboratory of enterprises and inviting potential enterprise champions to an exciting process next week.

Meanwhile, interest in our work seems to be growing internationally. Two academics from the Institute of Technology in Architecture, Zurich joined us in our studio to discuss the project, share their perspective on successful cities and bring learning’s from the project back to their work in Switzerland.

This week each project has put in the grunt work and overtime needed to drive the prototypes into the final week and to their best possible conclusion. Things are shaping up very nicely for the prototype extravaganza next Wednesday, where each prototype will be on the streets for people to interact with, provide feedback and to inspire the City to re-imagine its possibilities! Make sure you come down to the Markets area next Wednesday, 30th March for the prototype extravaganza!

Week 25 – Visit from Damini Kumar

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

This week we were joined by our final Love the City guest speaker, Damini Kumar. Damini Kumar is Director of Design and Creativity at NUI Maynooth and European Ambassador for Creativity. We invited her in to show the work she is championing in Maynooth, discuss the methodologies of design thinking and inspire the team to reach their potential in the future. Damini always dreamed of becoming an inventor and launched her career by inventing the world’s first non-drip tea pot, having studied Engineering and Product Design in London. This opened up many opportunities for Damini, to gain experience in many prestigious design companies. Along the way she moved to Dublin and has since dedicated her career to teaching and inspiring creativity in others.

Damini believes in everyone’s potential to be creative. To unleash this potential she advocates using various deign thinking tools, such as Edward De Bono’s approach of the six thinking hats. By having creative ideas and using design thinking you can create commercial products, which answer the needs of the end user. Damini also shared a number of insights she has experienced in the design process, such as designers should never expect their user to know what they want, the importance of having observation with empathy and understanding the context of the situation. She believes in the potential of design to solve any problem and has exercised that belief with a number of successful projects, such as the ‘Classroom of the Future’ competition, which 1,600 secondary school students entered their designs to re-imagine their educational experience.

Damini has used the design process throughout her life, from work related projects to life and has proven the potential of design to find new ways of approaching and solving problems. The advice she left resonating in our ears was: you can achieve anything if you believe in it! A wonderfully inspiring person to wrap up our speaker series, which has provided the team with new knowledge, new learning’s and a new way of looking at the world.