..to create insights through visual storytelling


Designing Across Boundaries

Mid September STBY participated in a multicultural design challenge at Villiers Highschool in Southall, London. We worked with Sao Paulo-based designers, London-based designers and teenagers from Southall. The goal was to design something for the school, using card board, in 60 hours with about 40 people in three teams. We counted more than 30 countries when we explored where all the participants and their parents came from! This became the starting point for all three projects that were completed. Each team designed events or ways to enhance relationships between pupils at the school rather than objects such as a new school bag or table.

Each group used video to do the research in the school, develop their ideas and communicate them. Bas Raijmakers and Geke van Dijk (for STBY) coached the teams when shooting and editing video, as part of their research and design process. This resulted in 3 short films about the projects. Bas and Geke also made a film about the challenge as a whole and how it connects to everyday school life. This 12 minute film is available here. Villiers students speak the voice overs. It includes short versions of each of the films made by the project teams, explaining their ideas for the school.

The approach was taken from the design challenges organised by the Helen Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Art, who use it to allow designers to experience participatory, inclusive design first hand by working with the people they design for. Yanki Lee of the RCA organised this challenge. We also used the approach of Brazilian designer Paula Dib, International Young Design Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 and her company trans.forma. She works with local communities in Brazil and materials that are locally found, often recycling waste materials. From Brazil she brought her friends Renata Mendes and Fernando Maculan, both designers she collaborates with, and 8 students from the FAAP design academy in Sao Paulo. Karine Waldron of Villiers Highschool completed the team. We had a great group of about 40 people together for three days of intense working. The project was presented at a 100% Design forum during the London Design Festival 2007.

One Response to “Designing Across Boundaries”

  1. Alina Schippers says:

    Hi Bas!

    I attended this workshop and I lost the full 15 min film … how can I retrieve it? Is there a website where it is available?