CHALLENGE + APPROACH
Despite having the largest concentration of NGOs per capita in the world and receiving billions in foreign assistance, Haiti remains the least developed country in the Western hemisphere.
Over the course of a year the team explored opportunities in education and technology in Haiti.
My role involved planning our generative research trips and co-developing the design thinking curricula. I also led a web developer, designer and copywriter to create our website, print collateral and pitch decks.
Dara Dotz Donor Relations
Kate Ganim Public Relations
Patima Pataramekin Education & Research
Tyler Pew Business Development
PARTNERSHIPS + SPONSORS
Indian Valley Academy
A SPECIAL THANKS TO
Andrew Kitchell Web Developer
John James Graphic Designer
Clare Major Videography
Peter Prato Photographer
Margaret Seelie Copywriter
Francky Bapttise iLab Co-Founder
Wilio Deseme iLab Co-Founder
Johnson Sylfrain iLab Co-Founder
Please contact me for the full case study report
Guided Tour (4)
At-Home Visits (3)
Expert Interviews (8)
Group Interviews (4)
LEARNING FROM THE PAST
The design team fully immersed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti to understand the culture and community. Through conversations with locals, we learned that many students hadn't returned to school since the 2010 earthquake.
Being on the ground helped establish relationships with community partners especially since there was a strong sense of skepticism toward foreign aid. From this, the team knew it was imperative to create a locally run, self-sustaining solution.
Co-CREATING THE FUTURE
In the course of conducting dozens of interviews, three men stood out to the team. Due to their eagerness to learn, we invited them to a three week-long workshop. Using a hands on, project-based learning curriculum I co-developed, we spent the entire time teaching the design process, 3D modeling and printing.
During this workshop, we worked together to design the innovation lab's service. We determined the offering, brainstormed ideas for the company name and logo and even built furnishings.
CHANGING A MINDSET
One key insight the team discovered is that in Haiti, education is antiquated and rigid— there is a student and a teacher; a right and wrong answer. The fear of failure challenged our students. They didn’t consider themselves as people that designed solutions. During an at-home visit, the design team noticed a number of makeshift solutions— evidence that they were all prototypers! To reinforce this, we folded in lessons to cultivate creative confidence.
In an effort to encourage self-reliance, collaboration and learning through trial and failure, the team decided to return to San Francisco. We provided educational support through online channels and returned every few months to instruct in person.
INTRODUCING iLAB // HAITI
Within nine months, we co-created an innovation lab, shared methods of thinking and discovered design opportunities.
With the help of Microsoft and Makerbot, we brought laptops and 3D printers to Haiti. Our team explored needs such as 3D printing medical devices on demand at a local TB/HIV clinic, as well as printing home necessities such as tarp clips.
HOSTING A DESIGN SUMMIT
For our culminating activity, the Haitian co-founders of iLab hosted a weeklong design summit in Port-au-Prince.
The team invited 24 students with different socio-economic backgrounds; 16 from disparate regions in Haiti and 8 from California. Each school had two months to prepare a presentation around a challenge their school was experiencing in education.
EMPOWERING future LEADERS
We hosted design sprints at each school to prepare the students with a common methodology to use at the design summit.
DESIGNING WITH EMPATHY
We challenged each other to defer judgment, approach problems with an empathetic lens and worked past language and cultural barriers.
After a year's work, in 2013, we co-founded iLab // Haiti. Today, the innovation lab is still independently run by the Haitians we trained. The team plans to host another Youth Design Summit this summer and have invited children throughout Haiti to join. As a continuation of our project, iLab has continued to work closely with one of our teammates to 3D print medical devices on-demand.
The curriculum I co-created has been modified and used in the following education enrichment programs:
Tinkering Pop-up at Lakeshore Elementary
Building Elevated Structures at The Girls’ Middle School
Deployable Structures at San Francisco’s Exploratorium XTech
Superhero Cyborgs at Autodesk
© 2018 Patima Pataramekin