The caddy project was a head-on approach to inter-disciplinary design, merging the skill sets and ways of thinking about problems across multiple design fields. It gave us the ability to view the issue with a much broader scope and understand the problems and challenged us as a group to come up with a transdisciplinary solution. Our group as whole meshed well, we all saw the problem in differing ways but were able to negotiate an outcome and distribution of work, that played to everyone’s strengths. Like Ulrich we were constantly challenged by the observations and perspectives from different disciplines, backgrounds and personal experiences with the system but this conflict led to a greater mutual understanding of the issue.
“The immediate goal of a CSH evaluation is to elaborate multiple perspectives on a given situation, but the broader aim is to share these perspectives and thereby cut down on actors ‘talking past’ each other by promoting mutual understanding.” (Ulrich, W. Reflective Practice in the Civil Society: The contribution of critically systemic thinking, 2010)
working with a real client was a great opportunity to understand the way other governing bodies framed the food waste problem. it brought forth the magnitude of differing prospectives surrounding the issue and the realization that there was no one solution but an undefined number of outcomes that could lead to a better more sustainable future. to fully understand the problem we had to think about the system in which waste management operated and determine wich subsystems were involved. this enabled us to gain an understanding of the viewpoints of different governing bodies and their motives.
Our team set a group charter and framework to work within focusing on design thinking rather than analytical or aesthetic approaches. the outline focused on clarity, simplicity, affordability and practicality. through these boundaries, we were able to negotiate through possible solutions and find what we felt best fit the solution. This transcended through our approach of the caddy and instructions focusing on small decisions that we felt would make a large impact. Such as the choice not to use color in our instructions sheet and testing the minimum amount of paper needed in the caddy liner to keep contamination at a minimum. We focused on the communications and readability of the information sheet keeping words to a minimum with easy to read infographics.
Through working with governing agencies on such a project it becomes apparent that the small changes or adaptions in systems can create a larger social or political change in the way people think about an issue. using design thinking to enable a transdisciplinary solution we were able to chip at incredibly complex issue that spans a multitude of systems and subsystems that are constantly changing.
n.a. ‘Critical System Heuristics’, Critical System Heuristics | Better Evaluation, <http://www.betterevaluation.org/en/plan/approach/critical_system_heuristics> Accessed 10 May 2017.
Ulrich, W. (2000). Reflective practice in the civil society: the contribution of critically systemic thinking. Reflective Practice 1, no. 2: 247-268.