People, their stories and design
In order to understand what it means for developing countries to develop successfully, we must acquire insight into the fundamental meaning of development while thinking about how experts in one field can contribute to such development with their specialization. As a designer, I have written this paper to highlight key elements critical to understanding development from a humanitarian-aid point of view and to propose a way of engaging design as a sustainable system. This paper emphasizes that design could be human-oriented, highlighting people’s personal stories. It is a characteristic of design to make a continuous contribution; people in developing countries can stimulate their development with this design contribution. As a design proposal, the paper proposes three different ways of incorporating people’s stories into a design, which can be used as guidelines for designers and developmental aid workers. I expect this paper to help people struggling with development issues because it proposes a sustainable design concept. To illustrate these ideas, this paper presents a case study of Penduka, a craft-oriented NGO in Namibia. Three different ways of incorporating stories into design are carried out in three different workshops at Penduka. *A workshop for craftsmanship: creating narratives for products *A workshop for young local designers: translating personal stories into designs for products *A co-design workshop for designers and craftsmen: stories with a motif or function The three main goals in this paper are: *Connecting design to a development corporation *Empowering people by transforming their stories into a design *Proposing a design method using local people’s stories In conclusion, this humble system built from a course of design study has revealed that a small human-centred system can provide a huge step forward for people, allowing them to break through the barriers of economic and social underdevelopment. Design has proved to be a great medium for making this happen.
Photo by René van der Hulst