NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2014) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

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Visualize your research

This is not the first time I had to make a video for a grade, but I’m still not used to it. I rather write a 50 pages report than present my results in a presentation. I find it very hard to tell someone something that I’ve been working on for months in just a few words. There is so much to tell! The hardest part about making a short movie is to be convincing. No matter how much result you have or no matter how much proof you have, if you don’t sound convincing they won’t take your idea. That is the hard world of art and innovative industries. Some people have the gift to make something small so interesting. I’ve always looked up to people like that. I’m not a great talker, but I’m trying to improve.

During the last few week we were struggling, because we didn’t get enough information from our NGO. Cnptmkr was too busy to spend time with us. It seemed really unfair. The teams with the tiny houses had such great results when I asked them, but we were stuck with our own challenge. We had to come up with an solution which could be applied to diverse clients, because our NGO didnt explain what kind of clients he had. There were many solutions, so it wasn’t easy to put it in a small movie of 5 minutes.

It was hard to make a professional looking video. I never thought of using a PowerPoint presentation or prezi in for these kind of purposes. It really looks professional and the text and images makes the problem and solution much clearer, rather then just talk. It also makes you think how to visualise the problem. It isn’t only clearer for your client. It is also so much clearer for yourself if you try to visualise your problems. That is why I always try to draw my thoughts on paper if I got to make a plan for something.

The fulfillment of finishing your project is really great. We have results I’m happy with and I really hope our NGO is also satisfied with our solution. It was a great experience to see how a project would look like in the future as a designer, although we were missing a lot of communication with our client.

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: - Eline -

Why communicate as a designer

Now that I am working with a real NGO and a team makes me notice how important communication is. Our NGO and Nancy give us the needed information what we need to have in order to fill in the questions that we have in order to make the product that our NGO needs. If we didnt communicate at all we might have found a solution, but it would NOT have all the options or be vaible for the client. The product has to be the product our customer could use, not us. Of course we learn from the product and make use of it ourselves. BUT the highest priority is that it will suit your client.

Now that Maarten can’t be reached, because he is busy. That makes us stuck with the problem: “Does he needs this in his product or that.” We have to think about what kind of customer he has and what kind of communication he has with them. We have to find solutions for different scenarios, which isn’t that easy.

Not only the product we making had influence on how I thought about social network. The teamwork did also a lot to me. I used to do projects at someones house and used email if we needed to share something. Since I started here in The Hague I used so many more programs to share information. Like I used to use facebook and skype just for sharing things with friends. Suddenly I see so many more options. My team comes up with ideas I wouldnt have thought of and reversed. Of course listening to others isn’t always easy when you have your own solution, but in this team we didn’t really have a problem with that. I think communication makes a small idea into a BIG plan. 

I can’t say I’m a big expert on social networks, but I learned a lot during this course. I see now how important it is to use networks as a designer. How you have to be active, promote yourself and share your progress to your client. He will see what he is missing and maybe more possibilities to improve himself and the product. 

The thing I still want to learn about communicating is that I want to be able to present myself to clients. I want to help people with my products later on, so I want to be able to communicate with them and understand them in order to do so. I want to learn how to get the most out myself and the clients to get the best results. It’s still a bit hard for me, but I’m learning! I hope in these years I will learn it bit by bit. 

I am a perfectionist and I’m proud of it!

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: - Eline -

The more, the better!

As a designer, listening to others is like the most important thing of your job. Of course you can create stuff what you like and wait and see whether others like your product. BUT if you want to attract a large group or help other people with your designs, you need to see what they like and they need in a product. Maybe you dont have the expertise of all skills you need to have to make that product reality. Maybe you dont have enough money to create the product that you want to make. For these problems you have crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

I really like the idea of people helping eachother to make a dream reality. With the help of other people you can do so much more. Of course you want the product to be your own design and make it like you think its best. BUT what you think best isnt always the best option. If you invite people to look at your product they often see problems with the product which you never seen on your own. Crowdsourcing is the best and cheapest way to fill your weak spots. If you ask someone with a lot of expertise on a certain subject they will do it much faster and better then if you tried to do it yourself. BUT the negative part about it of course that not all people share the same opinions or if you invite others they might make mistakes. That is the negative part about teamwork. Aslong you as the teamwork works perfectly crowdsourcing is definitely a pro.

If you have really great ideas, but you dont have the money for it and you think other people will like your idea too. You might wanna think about crowdfunding. Also if you post your idea on a crowdfunding website, it becomes more wellknown. There are enough people who are interested in innovations and ideas to make their lifetime experience better. They want to help people being creative and have a chance to fulfill their dream. I think its a really beautiful for people to act this way. BUT the con about crowdfunding is, that if you fail your project you failed for a lot of people.

Personally im a designer who does come up with ideas when im with other people. My inspiration comes from the streets and nature. If I share my opinion with others, my idea becomes bigger and more realistic. BUT thats just me. I dont know whether others feel the same like me, but i think teamwork makes a lot of things better. :)

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: - Eline -

Looking into the past, with a bright future ahead!

Its been already 5 weeks since i started with this course. It is a pretty vague project, to be honest. Luckily my team works and organizes well. Like when we distribute tasks, everyone does them. Everyone also tries to come up with opinions about the subject. I am pretty satisfied with team 4! Although the project is pretty vague, through skyping with Nancy and Maarten it is becoming clearer and clearer. 

The thing i am still struggling with is the blogging. I am the kind of person who likes to experience and look to the future. The past isnt really bothering me. Although i like old industrial design. I just love old movies and furniture, but always with the intend to make something new!

I know u learn a lot from the past, thats what i learned with this course to be honest. Like my writing and seeing what goes wrong really helped me to improve. I read a lot of blogs from others and saw how they were working as a team and their difficulties. How do they work in a team, because its not the same as i am used to in the Netherlands. Of course it is that we have to talk into a different language, but also the pace we are working in and the ideas how to deal with the challenge is different.

Like the brazilians like to talk and write down a lot.

The dutch want to have structure.

Alex likes to discuss a lot and ask questions.

It accually really works well together! We come up with different opinions and thats really helped us a lot to see the challenge from different sides.

The group is only six people, but the question we’re asked every week can’t be divided into tasks for everyone. So we make them together. We tried the first week to divide them, but it didn’t work out for us. The creativity is accually really high in this group, although it is they say a large group. Everyone has their own opinion and wants to share it. Then afterwards we discuss them in our meetings.

What we might be able to do to improve is; trying to do the questions during the class and the discussions in our meetings. Then we can ask Janneke during class an explanation about our exercises. Also we need to try other teams about their difficulties with their challenges. Also some homebaked cookies and drinks would be nice for our meetings. Anyone?

I can’t really think of any other things to improve, because our organisation is really good. We do what we plan to do and have to do. Also we discuss about what we do and why we do. We ask questions when needed. I really like the way we work!

We can beat this challenge!

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: - Eline -

Myself and networking

I am not really a person who uses a lot of social media. Like i got facebook, tumblr now, i had hyves and of course used msn with my classmates when i was little. The thing is i rather talk to people face to face, because i am scared of misunderstandings. Which happen a lot when you chat. Although im a big fan of Skype. I got a lot of friends abroad and i use facebook and Skype to stay in contact with them. I like Skype more because i can talk and show things. 

I dont use facebook to share things to a large group. If you look at my wall there is very little on there. Im mainly on there to see what is happening and use the chat. People dont have to see what i am doing every day. I have the feeling my life would be an open book to everyone. Thats what i am thinking at least. I rather just tell it to the people i want to tell.

Im active in a few closed groups. For my friends, for a cooking club i once founded and me and my siblings have our own one. We kinda share funny things like seeing puppies play with their toys, recipes for a cake and i love to share it with them, because i know they would like it.

Of course i am also member of groups for information. Like the group we have for our year, but also about fashion and design. I love to hear information about that and thats one of the things i love about facebook. Still i wont put too personal information on there. I rather talk face to face with people about that.

I think if there wasnt facebook, twitter etc, there would be less misunderstanding between people. You cant explain or show everything over the internet. You can do a lot, but lot of that will be misunderstood. People can read things in so many ways and its hard for you to remove what you post on the internet. Information goes so fast on the internet. I dont know whether that is a good or a bad thing. Also people would sit less on their lazy asses in front of a computer! 

It is hard to fully be myself on the internet, with that i mean like how i act as individual. I feel very presured posting things on the internet, because i never know how people will react to it. 

Thats why i love face to face conversations more, like chat and voicechat. You know the likes/ dislikes of the other person and can have an accual conversation with eachother. Also you wont be bothered by everyone reading it. I rather recieve information then spread it. Since i am not a great writer i also prefer to voice chat with others.

That was a long post! I am sorry if i bored you, i am still trying to improve on my writing!

Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: - Eline -

The Challenge!

Create a blueprint for effective mobile collaboration: How can people effectively communicate and move their project forward using mobile technology only?

Here we are! Now the real stuff is starting! This week we got ‘the challenge’ (apparently it was already on basecamp, but the whole group didnt see the post.) The challenge is really vague, as u see above. The first hour we discussed how we could answer that. “Is mobile technology only phone or also tablet and notebook?” “What kinda information does there need to be shared. Documents, just chat or drawings?” “What kinda social media does Maarten already use?” All these questions and we didnt really know how to start. Then we came with the solution to ask Maarten for advice.

We made a huge list of things we need to know before we start and try to solve some. I really questioned what kind of technology he needed and what information he needs to share with his clients and asked about it. The real question still remains; we still dont know much about cncptmkr and his site isnt showing what kind of projects he did in the past. Be prepared Maarten, we’re going to ask you a lot!

I really want to give some good advise. Not only because i want to do good work, but also to learn how to communicate with clients! 



Posted in Community, Group 4, Students
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Eline