Iterating with Purpose

Core Goal

A few weeks back I wrote a series on engineering leadership in which I discussed the importance of overcoming failure in order to develop and progress. Failure is a natural part of the iterative process and is required in order to define and understand your objectives and goals. EDSI needs to be lean, to succeed EDSI needs to have well defined goals and a problem statement limited to just a few words. This has to be core to the project and everything EDSI sets out to achieve must be centred around this core objective. Defining this has taken years of purposeful iteration; digging deeper and constantly asking why.

The ideas behind EDSI started, a few years back, with an interest in regeneration and sustainability, and the question of how to consider the different stakeholders throughout a regeneration project. This has led me to study and research different ideas and from an initial interest I discovered a passion for different themes. To dig deeper I had to constantly move outside my comfort zone in order to understand different perspectives; trying and testing different ideas to understand how they relate back to engineering. A couple of months back I started the DSIL (Design for Social Innovation and Leadership) course, which is ran in partnership with UPEACE, the course brought together different subjects I am passionate about. This provided me with the opportunity to start EDSI with the tagline of connecting the dots between people and engineering.

When starting EDSI I didn’t have a business plan, mission statement or core objective. My main aim was to share my journey to South East Asia and my passion for civil engineering. As EDSI has developed, so have I, and during the trip to South East Asia I was finally able to define my core goal for EDSI. This goal connects what I am passionate about and enabled me to have a strong focus moving EDSI from a conceptual idea towards real world impact. Focusing on the why has taken me on the journey of a lifetime, in doing this I have built up a project with a purpose.

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Design Thinking the Creative Process

process

A week ago I returned home from South East Asia after spending ten intense days learning about sustainable development and grass route social innovation. The journey transformed my understanding of the design process and the importance of Human Centred Design. I look forward to sharing this journey and the different design processes I learnt about, but more importantly I am excited by the opportunity to express the stories of the people making a difference.The innovators going against the grain to solve problems in a creative and groundbreaking manner. Working with the community to transform lives and bring about positive change.

There are many stories and theories I want to unpack in order to understand how they can be used in strategic frameworks; building up better solutions which meet the needs of the community. One of the main messages throughout the field trip was the importance of process. Continually iterating and improving the design process in order to build up a solution which develop and overcome challenges. Including the clients and users throughout the design and creative process. Building up solution in which the designers steps back and lets the client and user develop a solution which works for them.

As a designer I am very much led by strategic thinking and results. I enjoy thinking that I can overcome any challenge through a set of procedures to build up the best result. The challenge of design and development is admitting your own limitation and understanding that the community has a great depth of insight into the design challenge. The key to sustainable development is for the designer to be process driven in which the quality and the standard of the design is as important or more important than the end result. In which the impact is measure by the lessons learnt and the shared involvement in the design. Human Centred Design is about building a better future together.

Please follow EDSI on Twittersupport EDSI and spread the word and let people know engineers are not robots!