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okey, so the community project is over and I start to think about my Master theses topic. It is…

okey, so the community project is over and I start to think about my Master theses topic.

It is very hard to find something that interestes you but also has enough potential for a scientific work. So I looked deep inside me and what I am interested in. And one thing that followes me through my life was “food”. Yes of course everyone depends on food. But I consider myself as dealing carefully with food. Peel food not or just carefully to not discard more of this valuable nutritions as necessary.

Than travelling 6 month on various organic farms where they grow theire own vegetables and raise pigs, sheep, goose, cows, turkeys, chicken,..

There I saw how much work it is to grow delicious nutrients.

Back in Europe… Somehow I get to know about “Containern”. Knowing not much about it I tried it out on my village. And I was successful. But do you know what is so fantastic about “Dumpster Diving”? You never lose. Ether you find a lot of eatable food, like bananas, potatoes, cauliflower, … or you find nothing and than you still can go home with a smile on your face. Because you are happy, that the supermarket do not have to throw food away.

Actually if I find something in the dumpster I should be sad and angry, that they are throwing away something where other people put a lot of energy and love in it. But somehow I am happy because I rescued it.

So in my master Thesis I would like to bring back the consciousness about food to the consumer. So why do they throw away food? Why does the supermarket throws food away?

The Supermarkt says, they throw away food because customers will not buy food which will soon hit the expiring date.

Also the customer might not be well informed. The expiring date does not mean, that food after the expiring date turns bad. It might lose some of it’s quality. For dairy products for example somethimes there might be some whey flowting on top of your yogurth. Just stir it and than eat it. Trust your senses: WATCH, SMELL, TASTE.

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A end is always a new start

I learned that it doesn’t matter if it is crowdsourcing or crowdfunding, finding the right community and network for your specific target is very important. And also consider how can you get, keep and grow the number of interested people.

I love working in teams, well most often offline, and now it opend for me a new dimension: Working online together with strangers. I know how important networks can be and I need to improve my network also offline.

It is very hard to keep discussions going on in online communities and networks. For my Masther thesis I have to find a topic and I tried to start a discussion with my colleges from Salzbourg. Even though it is very relevant for them, they do not like to join the conversations. I tried to trigger them with interesting links, shared my thoughts. Asked questions…

I lost my self in discovering Dieter Rams!

I tried to choose the most important ones for me but I can’t, because they are all so true and important. So I added my thoughts.


… is innovative  (by combining unusual things?)
… makes a product useful (how often I got mad because I couldn’t find it/ get it to work…)
… is aesthetic
… makes a product understandable
… is unobtrusive
… is honest
… is long-lasting (especially this should be more important nowadays for real and virtual products -> saves money)
… is thorough down to the last detail (with this I have a problem.. I do not work that detailed.. but I should)
… is environmentally friendly (or for Products even better: C2C)
… is as little design as possible

Having a clear structure and nice storyline through out your video/ blog post, website… helps to get and keep the attention of your reader. So keep it short and simple and show your audience visuals. Pictures attrac attention and explain things very often shorter and better than words.  And don’t forget to mention your sources. But also make it authentic. Don’t be to artificial. Show some emotions. We are still just humans.

My advice for newcomers is get to know your group. Spend some time with them not talking about your project.. share some food, memories, and jokes. You have to complete a tast and you can fulfill it the best when you know what are the strength and weaknesses of each team member and how you can motivate each other…

And set concreate deadlines. It will help you to work more focused.

And try not to write toooo much.. if you want people reading your blog post…

Keep it short and simple… well maybe next time…

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Miri's Desk

we had storming, forming… just need performing

Hello World..

So our challenge is to show SOLIDARIDAD the perfect intranet and what features their intranet should have to work perfect together. The general topics that we were focussing the last few weeks are:

  • Me-We-Network
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Crowdfunding
  • Marketing

In my opinion there is no most useful theme that solves the unmet need of SOLIDARIDAD. All of them are equal important. And only together they are strong.

In our group we divided the task. Two people are summarizing each topic.

Our (Antonina and me) part was Crowdfunding. So I would like to tell you more about Crowdfunding and how it benefits SOLIDARIDAD. There are four different ways of crowdfunding:

  • Equity crowdfunding = Someone give’s money and in reward he/she is part of the company
  • Donation crowdfunding = for charities (raising money for social projects) Most charities do that through their own web-site. We couldn’t find a donation button on solidaridad page.
  • Lending crowdfunding = Crowdfunded lending facilitates projects, individuals or businesses to seek loans from the crowd, with members of the crowd taking small chunks of the overall loan.
  • Reward crowdfunding = contribute to projects and receive non-financial rewards (like record, movie, game, product) -> for SOLIDARIDAD not that interesting: what could they give as reward? (maybe: The name of a backer on something they build)

So thinking about which crowdfunding type would be helpful to SOLIDARIDAD, I think most of them are helpful in certain tasks.

I am not sure about equity crowdfunding. That means that people that give money to SOLIDARIDAD be a part of the “company” of SOLIDARIDAD. I do not know if that is possible and what legal reasons that may have.

It doesn’t matter which crowdfunding type you look at the supporter should get something from SOLIDARIDAD as reward to their supporter. It could be a t-shirt, supporters name on a building/vehicle/web-site…, follow as a visitor a typicall day of a Solidaridad worker……

I also really like the idea of crowdsourcing.

SOLIDARIDAD started a campaign on sugar cane…

"During the campaign Solidaridad will ask our campaign question to as many relevant players in the world of sugarcane as possible; How can you change the world with sugarcane? All change starts with awareness. Solidaridad will target companies with a positive tone of voice and will work towards a better world together with those companies." 

That sounds to me like a crowdsourcing task. But as far as I saw SOLIDARIDAD doesn’t use it in crowdsourcing. They ask the question “How can you change the world with sugarcane?” to important people and companies…. but do not have a real crowdfunding campaign. My suggestion for SOLIDARIDAD using Crowdfunding in getting information about certain products (coffee, tee, sugar, ..) and farmers that would like to work with them and also company that buy from certain farmers.. These information should be mapped on a map: Crowdmap

I do agree with Group7 post about a more recognizable visual for solidaridad. Something that shows their vision and an aim that they are working for.

And there are many other good things you can explore them in the picture or wait until our final-video is done….

CU miriam

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follow the crowd

It is great how entrepreneurship changed with the help of the new media. If you have a new Idea, you do not have to go to the bank anymore. You can start your own funding campaign and find your crowd that believes in your idea. Some entrepreneurs use Crowdfunding as an validation of their idea, and go after their funding goal to a bank and ask additional for a credit.


If it just would be so easy…. only 44 % of Kickstarter project reach their funding goal. Somehow I do feel very sorry for them. But on the other side it is just natural. The best idea will survive.

Some Crowdfunding pages I explored..

I think Kickstarter is the most famous platform. Most project on Kickstarter are from the US. I think you need to be US-resident to start a campaign (movies, theaters, comics, art, food, games, music, photography, products,..but no funding for your next vacation). Kickstarter charges a 5% fee for every successful project. What happens when a kickstarter-project doesn’t get the money, they were looking for? Do the backers get their money back? According to Kickstarter they only charge your card if the funding goal is reached.

Amanda Palmer had 25,000 backers that supported her album, book and tour.

Everyone can receive fund. Indiegogo get 4% from every campaign. And there might be some additional fees, depends on where you are from.

If you choose the “flexible Funding” you get the money you raised so far even when your campaign failed. Indiegogo charges you than a 9 % fee.

Also RocketHub charges a 4% fee for successful projects and 8% for failed funding goals.

They divide fundraiser into 4 categories: Nonprofits, Individuals, Corporations and Foundations. Uses technological advantages of iPhone app, Donations Widget and Facebook Widget.

Charges just 2.9% fee of total fund.

Crowdrise helps to raise money for Charity (like animal welfare, arts, cultures, diseases, education and religion). You could even raise money for you birthday, wedding or own project. mmh… maybe my next world travel…

Than there are crowdfunding pages, speciall for every country.

It might be a trend. It is new… It is exciting… but how long? Maybe in the future people will get bored and do not support many crowdfunding platforms.

There are so many Crowdfunding platforms but I have not seen any combination of Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding. Do you know one page that combines both very good?

For example I do like the idea of Buca-boot a lockable bike basket. Especially in the netherland it could have a huge market. But I do not like the design of it at all. So why don’t use Crowdsourcing to make a very good product and than more people want to back your product.

Crowdfunding is for creating a buzz, word-of-mouth and for financing.

I think crowdsourcing is a lot of work. Maybe more work than to go to a bank clerk. Convincing the crowd maybe harder than convincing the bank. Getting one vote may be tough, but getting many is tougher.


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Together better

Hello World,

as you might know from earlier posts, this blog is about communities: online/offline, big/small, diverse/heterogeneous, …

And every monday we get a new topic for the week. And these mondays are very confusing: 80 people divided in 9 groups sitting in one sticky room watching a video and than try to work on their task. So thats how it may look from the outside….

… but from the inside it is every monday like that: there is a big confusion about the tasks we need to do. I tried to start my confusion already in the morning by reading the syllabus and watching the videos. So then when I am watching the videos the second time I can take notes, and sort my thoughts on paper. It takes us very long until we are somehow sorted. And I am not sure which solution could solve this confusion.

So here are my suggestions:

  • In terms of the syllabus, maybe everyone could check the syllabus on their own, read the text, make notes, shorten the tasks. And than when we should work in our group everyone knows the topic of this week and the tasks for today.
  • An other possibility: One person (every week changing) reads the text, watches the videos (as soon as they are available: sunday evening, monday morning?). Takes notes and share them with their team-members when they are meeting on monday. Structure the tasks, divide one tasks… Thanks to Ally, she did it this week and it was better than the weeks before. You are
  • Or the last suggestion for organizing week topics and tasks: Someone is reading out loud the text from syllabus, and together we write a list with tasks and deadlines. Everyone should be able to see the written stuff and make commends on it.

In terms of executing the tasks we do a great job..

My personal experience working in a group of 3-4 works the best for me. Two people are good for doing a research together…. But more edges are better for ideation. If larger groups are very well organized and structured also groups of 4-7 can do a great job.

I really like our group. We can have fun, but also work serious. We can speak out, if we do not like something… (I hope everyone does that, not just me…) I try to be more quiet so that you can speak louder…

But working in a group of 7 is also challenging. As Chris explained it with the odd and even numbers: Groups with an even number of team-members are more stabilizing than groups of 3, 5, 7… team-members.

I really like that Idea of thinking, what kind of task is it? Is it better to have an even or an odd group-size? Do we want to work concentrated on something or going crazy during a brainstorming-session? We are designer, and we can design also our group-sizes, in order to get the best result.

I am not quiet sure about the roles in our group. Are there other roles, that might help our team to work better? A time-keeper? A cookie supplier? Coffe-bringer? We could find some fun roles that help us to work more focused. In my ideal group everyone should have the same rights. I see the team-leader as an organizer, that communicates to tutors and others. Thanks Anne.

So I am looking forward to have some more productive group-work with you guys.


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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Miri's Desk

It is a quiet me. A louder we and very loud networks that is shouting to everyone. You just need to listen.

I joined Facebook just recently because I had a project and I want to reach people outside my personal network. I joined a group about making bobbing lace, because I want to find out: What people make bobbin lace? What kind of bobbing lace do they produce? What problems they have to deal with? And it worked.

Maybe an other reason to join fb was to keep in touch with my siblings. I do not live at home since I am 16 years old (because I went to an art-highschool in an other city, and than started studying) and I want to stay in contact with them. I do not want to take the initiative all the time and write them an e-mail. I can see what they are interested in and vice versa.

I have been in the past once to fb. But I was not interested in it at all. They always post stupid stuff. And I had no benefit of being in fb. In fact I had less time. And also now I do not have time for my other hobbies. Be active in the “real” world. Go climbing, cycling, running…

Now in our study here pretty much everything runs in fb. There are discussions, inspiring posts, helpful links, interesting job-offers… You definitively miss a lot, if you are not on fb. I do not know if anyone from this course is NOT on fb and I wonder how he/she feels about that. First I was more an observer on fb, but know I try to communicate more with others. I have started with looking for groups with the same interests and started own initiatives. I use fb more for networking and stay in touch with university stuff. But of course you can’t separate private from “work” nowadays.

A network that I like very much is Couchsurfing. In fact I joined this network before fb. There you can look for people in the same area where you live. And meet for going climbing. It is a place that connect people that are new to a town to others. Or while traveling look for people that want to meet and give you a tour through downtown. Couchsurfing is used the most to find a host in a city/ town you want to got to. And for offering your “couch” to people that are traveling. It is a big community and works like a circle. I offer some one my couch and can sleep on some one else couch… I love this idea.

For research I sometimes post questions to specific themes in blogs. Or browse there for problems.

Now recently we started blogging, and I like sharing my experience and knowledge. But there are so many people out in the world. Who will read my blog-post? Why should someone read it? I am not that special. What I share, many others can also share.

So in general I am a more quiet internet user. I browse for helpful informations. I do not want to be connected all the time with online spaces. I am still improving my network skills and try to use it more for “work”. To get to know new people in the “real” world I use also Couchsurfing.

cu next week

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Hey guys, Today I want to share with you what online tools I know and how are they helping me as a…

Hey guys,

Today I want to share with you what online tools I know and how are they helping me as a designer.

  • Google picture search -> good for inspirations and for pictures for presentations. make sure you choose pictures with a good quality (right size!!!) nice pictures with a bad quality are still bad pictures
  • pinterest -> It is a nice tool to collect pictures, products, desiges you like. You can choose if you want it private or public. And also if you are looking for some inspirations it gives you a better picture overview than google

  • wordle -> copy in a text and the words that show up the most are the biggest. So you get a good picture about the most important words. You can play around with the design or create your design (colour, font, background colour…)   (note: I tried to place a wordle picture of this post in here… but I couldn’t get Java running on my computer…)
  • Online surveys -> whenever there is something you want to know from a large number of people Online surveys work very good. I tried many different ones, but so far I haven’t found the right one for me. I haven’t tried this one…
  • Designboom -> here you can sign in for a daily newsletter about architecture, design, art and technology. very inspiring!!!

And I like working with this programmes…

  • photoshop -> good for editing pictures, make collage, change colours, …
  • Illustrator -> making vectorgraphics
  • InDesign -> creating presentations, folders, books, packaging….
  • AfterEffect -> making movie. not easy to work with. But a very professional programm. I am not that good in it, I am still learning.
  • Solidworks -> building tree-dimensional things in the computer. Solidworks uses, as its name says, solid material. Like you would make something out of wood or metall. You take something away from a solid block, or you ad a sold block to other solid shapes. Solidworks is very good for getting technical plans.
  • 3dsMax -> This is a 3D-programme more for Renderings and movies. You just shape the sleve of the object. Like if you would build a model out of paper. I used to work with this.. but at that time I am not that good in this programme…
  • Rhino -> Same principles than 3dsMax but a little bit different to work with.

… and when you have a question about one of these programmes, just ask….

And I like to learn more about movie editing. You need to look for the right music, find the best time for a cut…. It is so hard… So if anyone can teach me something about that I would love to teach you something of my skills.

Oh and I like to learn programming webpages. You know writing all that ….

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN” “”>
<title>HTML Tutorial (erscheint auch als Fensterbeschreibung im Betriebssystem)</title>
            … what do I have to type when it should look this….

And last I do not like to work with..

  • Powerpoint -> when you can work with InDesign you do not want to work with powerpoint anymore. It narrows my creativity. But of course sometimes you need to work together with other people and than powerpoint is the programm that everyone has and know somehow how it works.

so let me know what interesting Tools you use for inspiration and getting you job done let me know…

cheers till next week.

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If ever anyone outside this school will read this blog, thats what it is about: We are students from…

If ever anyone outside this school will read this blog, thats what it is about:

We are students from the IDE course in the HHS and yesterday we had the kick-off of a new project:

The first time, when I heard about the topic, about communities and NGO, my thought were about a product for developing countries, which make living in a community easier. So I was a little disappointed that it is about a way of introduction a new social platform:

This project will be about an NGO that wants to introduce intranet to their international network of people working for them. We have to design a good way of introducing the intranet to their team. The task sounds simple, but of course making a good video, you need to put a lot effort in it.

And that is what I think about communities:

You could draw communities like circles around you. In the beginning, when we are little the circles are smaller. Of course in the inner circle there are my family and friends. But during our life the community grows, we get to know more people at school, at work, in our free time.


And then these circles gonna meet and cross. And new circles will develop. One of these new circles are the social media. And now private and school gets mixed. I am not sure about that development.

And I wonder how we can be active in so many different social medias. Do people have other hobbies? I love what I do, being creative, also in my free time. But so many different social medias do not make life easier. It causes a big stress to be everywhere up to date. So I see social medias critical. We have sometimes the freedom to choose our circle. So decide carefully to which group you want to belong, and what you can miss out. So I only want to choose the social medias, that are relevant for me.

After Kick-offs I am always excited and want to start right away: Brainstorming together, research, sketching…. So it is hard to slow down. Our project will be great because we are a great team. You will see that we put our heart in it.

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Miri's Desk

can good design make people more happy?

can good design make people more happy?

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This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Miri's Desk