NOTE: This is a full archive for the Project Community: You & The World (2013) please see the main site for the most up to date information.

Posts Tagged projcomm


Eight weeks have been and gone. We now find ourselves putting the final touches on our video and beginning to reflect on our work the past two months. Its hard to believe the times gone so fast and that we were so naïve to begin with.

Each week we have dived into a new topic whether it is crowdsourcing, technology stewardship, marketing or work teams, all have encouraged and demanded – working in/on/with an online community or network. Going into this project I had little experience with this, however I soon realised how essential and beneficial this form of work is in the innovative design industry.
Its benefits stem from the concept of a smaller world where global communication is no barrier. Shared knowledge is key allowing us all to gain and pass on lessons learnt or information gained.  The increased use of online communities and networks is currently – mid-snowball effect – gaining popularity by the day. It’s a movement designers cannot ignore and in-fact is creating an entirely new way or working creatively.

One design principle resounded with me after this project and that is “The Pareto Principle” ( Perhaps because this was so applicable to our groups experience. This Principle states: “80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.” Through out this project we experienced a multitude of problems, from; team management to customer interactions and even just the development of solutions.  However it was only due to these problems we encountered that we were able to innovate and come up with solutions – improving the team and the work being produced.

As for tips for next years students… COMMUNICATE! Our teams communication left a lot to be desired and it effected our working relationship. This would be my biggest tip to you along with making the effort to meet face to face, it is so much more beneficial to the efficiency and shared understanding throughout the group.

This experience is going to be invaluable, it is my first real experience working for a customer in a group or international participants. I have gotten an insight firstly into what to expect. I now know how much team work is going to be prevalent over the next 3 years and being aware of this allows me to ensure the way I interact with certain team members is beneficial to the efficiency of the group. Although I go away from this experience feeling my team could have performed better I am very proud of what we have created and thankful for all the lessons I have learnt along the way.

So for the final time..

That’s all for this week!

Untill next time, Siras Henderson xx

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: NABOO DESIGNS.


After working together for 4 weeks we are finally starting to find our rhythm. Slowly but steadily. Initially we dealt out “positions” which we thought was most fitting to everyone’s personal skill set. Although some of these have remained the same, we have found that some people are more suited to other jobs.

I’m finding the motivation of the group great, it is lifting my spirits whenever I am struggling. Equally the leadership has been awesome, Luca has taken to it like a duck to water. He is extremely structured and his understanding of the task is the best in the group.

Equally everyone else is using their own personal skill to contribute. Although Luca is taking the lions share of the work load up till now I hope for the rest of us, with his assistance, to be able to take some of the pressure off of him.

However there is definitely room for improvement! Firstly our initial decision to use Facebook as the main form of communication in the group I believe this was a mistake, as people are posting data at random times and we are not all online when this happens for instance I frequently am out when informed someone’s posted. By the time I get home I have completely forgotten about it. Other groups are using google drive and I would love my group to consider this. Google drive would allow us to access information when we want to and when we are focused on the task at hand.

Initially we had little to no understanding of the task however now we are in the 5th week (half way through the project) I feel we finally have got a grip on the task at hand. For me the difficulties was my lack of knowledge on platforms and anything technology related. However my groups knowledge has made up for this and they are slowly developing my knowledge on the topic too.

Working with such a large group there is always challenges. One of these is ensuring everyone is equally involved. The girls confronted the group last week saying they sometimes felt that we were dismissive of there ideas. This of course was a big surprise to the rest of us however we were able to ensure from now on we listen more attentively when they are talking.

In addition Maarten brought up a very valid point of native English speakers intimidating the others. Of course this was un-intentional but subconsciously the non natives feel intimidated due to their inability to express them selves as fluently. If you visit Maarten’s blog there is a link to a website which discusses how groups can get a handle on this problem but also how we can use it to our advantage. I would recommend every one from all group reads this!

Lastly I would like to discuss the effect of culture on the functionality of our team. All 9 members hold a different culture and this is both a constructive and a restrictive aspect. The variety allows a lot of new and exciting ideas to be shared showing perspectives of many. However when communicating it can be difficult, words may be interpreted differently by others, this is when it is important for us to communicate. Especially us native English speakers, if the others have use a word inappropriately it’s important for us to pull them up even if the we understand what they are trying to communicate.

Until next week - over and out!

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: NABOO DESIGNS.

WEEK 5- Work teams

Ok, Its week 5 now and everything is going pretty well. This weeks theme is team. It’s always great to have a little thinking in that direction because it’s the base of every organization and every company in the world. 

Let’s look at our awesome group now. 
I think what is really going well with us now is that we get along pretty well. There is a generally good mood among us and that helps us and motivates us to work better. On the other hand we find some trouble organizing a group meeting during the week, so we can assume that the “out of school communication” is kind of a problem for us. I actually consider this for not that big of a problem because nowadays there is facebook, emails etc. and so much sharing possibilities and if we use them well enough we’ll be just fine. We have to communicate more actively and considering most of us are living pretty close to each other it should not be problem to organize a meeting for the group. 

What is impact of size? Well, we can say that this is pretty obvious because we can simple say “two heads think better then one”. The are more ideas incoming when we work as a team and we can always choose the best one and of course a well organized team has a lot bigger rate. 
In our group there is a huge variety of different cultures. In my opinion this is beneficial when we look at the fact that we are solving a task for our NGO considering their offices around the world. 

To sum up, I find my group great and full of bright minds. We will deal with all our tasks perfectly if we overcome some small problems. 

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Posted in Community, Group 7
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Nikolay Yorgov's guide to the galaxy

Thank You all.

I’m starting to write this blog and thinking. It’s over? Latest blog? The end of a long, endless Monday? Probably so. But I have to what I two months ago wouldn’t even think to say.

I’ll miss this !

I remember the beginning, who caught only one word: Chaos. I feel like it was yesterday. No one knew what to do, all filled with a sense of unease and uncertainty. But today, our hourglass are almost empty and we can no longer follows the last grains of sand that slowly but surely completed the first stage at this school.

What is going on here? - We often asked, during the long and unorganized google hangouts.

But now we are at the end of a new beginning, turned about-face and see our tracks we leave.

Let’s decipher them.

  • At the beginning I see the shortcut NGO. Honestly, I did not know what it is. However,  I already know. Thank you.
  • Next, I can see ‘Technology Stewardship’ - Yes. Technology. In fact, I felt like at home in. I have reviewed and reinforced the importance of technology as in normal everyday life and in work and communication also. 
  • Crowd-sourcing. For me again, hitherto unknown concept. But this lesson has helped us realize our position and role in the project.
  • Teamwork. I remind this class, as one of the most valuable for us, as a group. It helped us to understand the power of group-work and taught us to use it the most effectively.
  • Crowd-funding followed. For me personally, the most valuable and most inspiring among all.
  • And at the end, one of the most important topics which was Marketing. Marketing is all around us and is part of everything. I dare say that in many cases is the key. ( Simple idea of quality marketing can make a hole in the world and vice versa with bad marketing we can sink even the best of them.
  • And now we are here and there is only the last task. Will present our work, efforts and thoughts to client.

But. The question is. 

What is the one most important thing have you learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design?

What is the most important thing ?

That’s clear for me.The most important thing is awareness of what our online communities and networks offer and permit. It’s an almost unlimited amount of information, ideas and also inspiration. Speed​​, clarity, accessibility of information! But! The simplicity is essential! I learned a long time ago just like it confirmed. Communication is to be direct and clear. Information served to make them comprehensible and easily understandable. So we can avoid misunderstandings and confusion.

Considering all you have learned and experienced through our classroom time and your work for your clients, what are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks?

My Design principles ?

Yes. I have them. These are the words which I deeply enthusiastic in myself and who are trying to to follow the, whenever I do something / product. Design is the only way to communicate with people. People need to understand you. Needs a clear message read by every product of carries. The message is encoded in a single word-Design-

People still do not like things they do not understand. Quite the contrary. Do they ??

Maybe I can consider these  ten principles for good design of Dieter Rams , as mine as well. 

Finally in this blog I would like to express a big frankly Thank You to Marteen for guiding, tutoring but mostly for his positive energy and the mood which brings to our group and of course to 8 great, awesome people whom I had the honor during these 2 months to get to know.

I am glad that I can say that Project Community gave me really a lot. As new knowledge, experience, overview of the most forward word friends. It was fun and useful experience, so I look forward to more projects!

And for you to prospective students. Start will be messy but life is not always easy. That each of us knows. So what tips would I give to prospective students? Be prepared! And enjoy your ride!


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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Michal"S Harbor

Project Communities

Good evening,

This week’s blog will be focusing on what has been learned from the course so far.

To begin with, through the weekly process of learning we were able to understand how the different stages of a project should be done. However, the most important aspect I have learned, is regarding how vital for the designers’ work the networking and the proper use of social media are.

So far, the globalization has been increasing and the society has been capable to reach all kind of information for no time and share even larger amount of information. I learned how important our online presence is and that it can always be developed and improved, depending on the its target group.

The design principles for raising online community I have developed during course would be:

  1. Focus on the community’s unmet needs and wants.

Making sure that you understand your community and its requirements would allow you to focus on what is important better and develop it well. Without a clear view, of what is vital for your community, it is impossible to achieve success.

  1. See the “big picture”.

Looking at a particular problem is good, however understanding the cause of it and looking into it from different perspective is also integral part of the designers’ work.

  1. Say what you want to say in simple way.

One should spread his/her message clear and simple. The target group should be able to understand it fast and easy.

 In order to have one positive experience from the course, I would advise next year students to take action and get involved with the project as much as they can. Since, the work has been done for real companies, student have the chance to bring their work to the next level and get involved with actual businesses and NGOs. I would say that it is very important to do your desk research well, so you would have the chance to make better decisions. The course will help you to improve your team work skills and will shed some light of how to proper use the internet space, things that are important for the designers nowadays. 



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Posted in Community, Group 5
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Iliya Elenski

Week 8

 If I have to be honest, I cannot believe that this is our final week. I just gained confidence about my work for developing the project and suddenly this was our last chance to put all our effort to further develop our presentation. Still, I feel confident about our group work.
I think this Monday was most useful, because the topic was very interesting to me. We were talking about multi-media and audio-visual presentations and the different techniques we can use to make them more interesting to the audience. In my opinion, the thing that made me and the other group members from group 6 think about our visual outlook of the presentation were the examples shown by the teacher. This way we became aware of the mistakes we can make, i.e. the pitfalls. For example, we understood that our presentation was five minutes longer than required so we started working on making it shorter.

As usual, after the presentation we divided into smaller groups and worked on different tasks. I really liked the idea that two of the group members thought of. They decided to change the design of the presentation completely, because ours was too simple. They came up with the great idea to make it like a railway and each section of the presentation will be a train station. In my opinion, this is a very original idea and in this way it would definitely be more interesting.

Through your research, what is the one most important thing you have learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design?

Honestly, I had no idea that methods like Crowdsourcing and Crowd funding exist. The most important thing that I learned about using online communities and networks is that they are extremely useful and can only benefit you. The Internet is one enormous space, where people communicate, share ideas, videos, pictures, etc. Nowadays, almost everyone is using the internet for one reason or another. When it comes to developing a better business it is extremely important for one to have an online community, since in this way you have a bigger audience, e.g. a lot of people look for customers or investors online. I think that it is also a smart place to look for great designs, because as I already said, everyone is using the internet and online networks are one of the main places, where artists promote their work.

Considering all you have learned and experienced through our classroom time and your work for your clients, what are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks?

The first thing that makes an impression on me in a website is the visual outlook. I think that it is best if it is simple, but still original. This is why one of my design principles is Simplicity.

It is also very important for me, a website to be well structured and accessible. I personally have visited a lot of websites, which have great visual outlook, but are extremely hard to use, because the information is put in the wrong place. The second design principle which I choose is Accessibility.

Last but not least – Tolerance. In my opinion, EVERYONE should listen and even if accept not, then at least tolerate the opinion of others.

My advice for next-year students? When you decide what to study, don’t consider the opinion of your parents, because when you transfer after a few weeks and you go to Project Community class, it might come as a shock to you. Just kidding.

My advice is to get to know your task and the different websites you will need as soon as possible, because then it will be much easier. At first, everything is very unclear, but when you get to know what is expected from you and when you make sure that you have asked all the relevant questions, it becomes quite easy. After all, we are not doing rocket science, and I think that if you put some effort, everything will be alright.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Chocolate brownies and cookies

The last but not the least

Checking out "7 Design Principles, Inspired By Zen Wisdom" by Suzanne LaBarre today I got extremely inspired by one of them:

fukinsei or Imperfection as an invitation for co-creation 

This principle puts together all the different pieces I came across in the last two weeks into one beautiful puzzle.

Firstly, it echoes the discussion we had on vulnerability a couple of weeks ago. Revealing yourself as an imperfect human being (asking for help or support, for example) activates empathy followed by active actions to help or support. And thus becomes the basis for interaction.    

This idea was also a red thread for "Self Unself" exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven curated by Thomas Widdershoven (creative director of Design Academy Eindhoven) and Jan Konings I was lucky to see at Dutch Design week 2013. 

The first project I’d like to mention is Phonebloks by Dave Hakkens, the telephone inviting for co-creation and customization.


This phone consists of the base and various blocks that can be clipped onto it and changed when needed.

The second one - Eternally Yours book is a reflection on how to make a design sustainable implementing personal details into it. 


The book itself shows how it works including very personal photos of the  designers. 

It seems that social networks, such as facebook, tumblr, twitter, work exactly in the same way: they are only valuable when filled with personal details, relieving it’s user to the world.

Other internet services, such as crowd founding enable people to co-create the product they love, while crowd sousing is a platform enabling open innovation.

Using internet services based on imperfection (and thus interdependances) is a way to recreate the way the world communicates and acts. Deepak Chopra in his video about social networks calls this process co-programming of global brain. 

To the next year students I would advise to perceive Project community course as a co-creation process, in which every imperfect individual is of great importance in co-creating the whole. 

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Posted in Community, Group 4
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Mairya's intercultural puzzle


Hello everyone !

So this is the end, and we are almost done with our project. In my opinion, the most important and common thing I’ve learned from this Project Community class is Teamwork. Working in teams is good and useful not only for innovative design, but for every work. More people - more ideas and more opinions.

Then, back to our group. As Ihsan said : “When every group member knows what he has to do and when the deadline for such a work is, it makes it easier by compleeting every piece of work at every time when we meet and when we all got the work we have to do, this makes the whole process goes gradually and more efficient.”
I completely agree with her. Actually, if you know when your deadline is, you can plan you time in a proper way and not waste it.

Now we are at the point when everyone has to work hard, because this is the end. Everyone has his/her part in a presentation and every part is important, so every group member has to participate. We are communicating online all the time and everything is going in a right way I suppose…

The last thing I want to say is that in my point of view crowdsourcing is a perfect way to get feedback about your innovative idea. Also, crowsourcing can help team gather the information needed. It is a simple way of making your project better and complete.

Rays of Love,

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Posted in Community, Group 8
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Top of the World, Project Community stuff

It’s The Final Countdown

Yes, it has arrived. The fated time has come.
We are nearing the end of our course.
Buckle up for the final countdown, this will be the last ride.

Over the course of this course, I have learned much more than initially predicted. I could write you an essay regarding every dirty little detail, but let’s keep this relevant to the task.
Foremost: What is the most important thing I have learned regarding utilizing online communities ?

Online communities and networks are double edged blades.
There can be no doubt about the amount of incredible information, ideas an aspiring open-innovator such as I will gain from using these modern opportunities.
However, therein lies the problem as well. An excess of information leaves much to doubt about the authenticity of given information. Or relevancy of information, where the gems are hidden beneath the dirt.
Therefore, one should always choose carefully. “Where to ask it”, “When to ask it”, “Whom to ask”, and “How to ask.”

And in this process, I have also set myself some design principles to be noted when designing and fostering a online community, or network:

A thoroughly well structured website, to be easily loaded, accessed. It shall not have to be burdened by unnecessary gimmicks, yet shall not prevent:

The website has be greatly forthcoming towards the individual needs and liking of each individual user.

A clear structure to clearly allow groups of  their own interests to meet, share discuss etc.

A website which intrudes with the life of the user is a website to be destroyed. The one community to strive, is the one to integrate subtly with the lives of the users.

A online community that closes it’s borders shall one day run out of ideas. Opening borders, welcoming new users into the network allows people to feel home, to feel appreciated. To stay.

Lastly, an online community must also want to stay, and build up as one The very design of the website must feel all of above, it must make everyone feel home, to want to log in and see what other family members have said. Only so can it withstand the test of time.

We are nearing take off. This is the last check before the take-off. Looking back, what can I share with the next generation ?
This course is going to be confusing. Many obstacles will be laid upon your way. Not every task will make sense, and even when they did, some were useless for the big picture: the customer’s needs ( task ).

I will lay it upon the next generation to focus on the biog picture. Should one try to include everything or every detail into the answer, it will entangle.
Clarity first, thoroughly bend every nook and canny of the task given upon you. Make sure everyone understood the task.
Communication and preparation is key. Speak to your peers, your tutors. Prepare in advance, be ahead. It allows mistakes or unnecessary details to be fostered out earlier.

Yet as negatively I might have made it sound, certain details of this course will stick to me, as they are important to me.
Copyright, experience with a customer and problems thrown into array. Working together as groups. This will help me grow, for a better future. 

And for now, this is the final countdown. The last show on the road before we move on our path towards a future we design ourselves.
This. Is. “The Final Countdown”

See you along the road chaps.

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Posted in Community, Group 6
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Justin's Lil' Box Of Thoughts

Week 8 Assignment

What is the one most important thing I have learned about using online communities and networks in innovative design?

This is a pretty simple question to answer as I had little knowledge about online communities and networks. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the difference between crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. The most important thing I have learned is probably that, as a designer you are no longer alone, you don’t sit in a room all by yourself talking to no one. Instead by being open-minded, people all over the world may access your design ideas on the web and vice versa. This makes it simpler to gain insight on how your design is viewed on both a regional aspect as well as on a cultural. If the idea is successful one can, using crowdfunding invest in startup capital to eventual nurture his design as they grow.

Another thing that I found out is crucial in making a successful design is teamwork. Sometimes you do not need to go online. Instead, especially with a group like we had we already had a mixture of multicultural backgrounds. This means that teamwork is on a smaller scale is a representation of online communities, as our group became a small community. This applied directly to our NGO as the business is spread over multiple regions and require a means of improve communication between these regions. This was very similar to our group as communication was an area we lacked in. However when communication was on point so were our ideas and this lead to a great design.


What are your design principles for designing and fostering online communities or networks?

I personally am split between these two design principles: Good design is as little design as possible and Good design is innovative. I believe that it is true that the possibilities for innovation are not exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. However it is also true that a good design is as little design as possible, this is because it concentrates on the essential aspects and it removes all the non-essentials only displaying the core. This sometimes means that something that is simple is not necessarily easy, as work needs to be put in to remove the non-essentials.


What would you tell next year’s class about the course?

 For those who will be doing this study I would tell them: you will be very confused for the first few weeks but just keep trying and don’t be afraid to say any ideas that come to mind. The most important aspect however is teamwork it would make working a lot more efficient if roles are distributed depending on what each member wants to do. This is because people will work on what they, themselves chose to do.

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Posted in Community, Group 7
This post was originally published at the Project Community blog: Maarten's mind