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T.U. Delft 2011

hands2The first Rethink Relief Design summit was held in the Netherlands in TU Delft University in October 2011. It included staff from international organizations (Save the Children, MSF, Caritas), and many professional and student designers.

A hands-on event concept was created in which different stakeholders from the humanitarian aid and design fields would be given an opportunity to interact by sharing and learning with their experiences and to engage in the solution space by developing a holistic approach to technology that considers the transition from emergency response to post-disaster self-sufficiency.

The design process was then compressed and divided along five days as well as translated into knowledge that could be understood by non-designers. The participants had the opportunity to brainstorm and select specific projects matching their interest and were divided into multi-disciplinary teams that were guided through the design process cheap mens nike air max 1, from the initial problem framing through idea generation, experimentation, sketch modelling, concept selection and prototype fabrication. The organizers and external senior designers were invited to facilitate the work of the groups or provide any help when requested.

Impression from Rethink Relief 2011, by participant David Okello

It was October 2011 when I had the opportunity to attend the very first Rethink Relief conference in Delft, Netherlands. It all started with a “heads-on” panel discussion on the challenges of transition from relief to development and ended with “hands-on” design process during the last three days of the five-day conference.

Coming from a project management background, I was not sure if I would be relevant and make any contribution toward the technology design process when the session shifted from “heads-on” to “hands-on.” Our group was assigned to work on rainwater harvesting for the rural resettling community in northern Uganda. It was indeed an amazing process. I learned how systematic and iterative engineers are as they move through the design process and soon, I was as busy as any engineer at a lab.

What I took with me home from the conference is that technology design and innovation is a creation of the mind. And what one needs to develop technology is a creative mind that does not limit its thinking capacity. I also learned that many people normally limit their minds or underestimate their creative capacity and as a result, they convince themselves that “it is impossible,” yet they have the capacity to undo the impossibilities mens new balance 576. I also learned that once the thinking process is grounded to paper, pen, hammer, saws, and drills, the immediate results are prototypes and sooner or later, a technology is born!

Participants of Rethink Relief 2011

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