Communicating Design

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Communicating Design notes:

communication models
storytelling techniques
branding strategies
transmedia narratives
content creation

Learning how to create compelling narratives.

Pablo will help with our main project and tandem project -

Tools will evolve with project - live documentation

Storytelling: conveying stories through the use of images, music… Stories are always linked to time and space.

Tuvalu’s story: property and ownership of land, country disappearing because of rising sea levels

Peru: indigenous people declaring the rights to protect one of their rivers with human rights

knowledge and memory: the real story (book)

different stories activate different part of the brain


Why do we do it?

My project exists to explore and communicate the positive contributions of invisible actors like fungi, microorganisms, insects, and worms to urban environments. The purpose is to reshape perceptions of cities, emphasizing the importance of these organisms in addressing global challenges like the climate crisis, food scarcity, and urbanisation. This knowledge, coupled with learning to respect the ecosystem, holds value for our species and others. The project aims to create new narratives for conceiving urban environments and promoting biodiversity.


How do we do it?
I bring my project's purpose to life by actively participating in the diffusion of knowledge through social interventions, research, and prototyping. The Design Dialogues installation, connecting knowledge diffusion, electronics, 3D visualisation, and foot traffic, exemplifies how I live out my purpose. Through exploration and unconventional approaches, I seek to positively impact organisms and shape conversations about alternative systems for restoring our connection with nature.


What do we do?

The project involves creating interventions and experiences that highlight the positive contributions of invisible actors in urban environments. It includes researching and exploring relationships between humans and organisms, proposing a transformed vision of the city that recognises green areas as places where the soil breathes. Concrete outcomes include installations, animations, and new narratives for urban environments. The project's elements revolve around reimagining cities, making knowledge accessible, and fostering relationships with microorganisms for resilient environments.


Course reflection 1
Through my "communicating design" courses, I've begun a journey of self-discovery and skill development, shaping the trajectory of my thesis project. These courses have instilled in me the importance of effectively communicating complex ideas to diverse audiences, ranging from children to older generations and those who may hold differing values or initially lack interest in my topic.

Moreover, I've learned the significance of identifying and engaging the right stakeholders for my research. Initially daunting, the prospect of interacting with government grants, policymakers, and decision-makers has become less intimidating as I've equipped myself with knowledge and confidence over time.

Collaborating with a tandem colleague has been insightful, revealing how different perspectives can enrich our understanding of similar topics. It's fascinating to witness the diverse interpretations and approaches we each bring to our projects, sparking further questions and insights to refine the focus of my thesis.

While I've grappled with the notion of branding and self-promotion, I've come to recognise the distinction between selling myself and expressing the true value of my work. Embracing pride in my long-term efforts has been essential in overcoming discomfort with self-promotion.

Lastly, I've embraced the importance of identifying communities of interest beyond the mainstream public. Acknowledging that my future stakeholders may extend beyond the conventional audience has underscored the significance of building connections and collaborating with relevant communities to advance my research objectives.


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Course reflection 2
As a female interior architect/designer, I've embraced the importance of exploration and taking risks in my journey as a creative. Recently, I've made the decision to expand my skill set by learning coding, electronics, and discovering the micro world. By incorporating these new skills and collaborating with professionals from diverse backgrounds, I aim to participate in collaborative, creative, and speculative designs that push beyond the confines of mainstream production in construction and design.

Looking towards the future, I envision further development of my research on soil batteries, including a multifaceted approach. This includes understanding the bacterial composition of soils, analysing pH levels, and exploring the prototyping of different cell compositions/materials through digital fabrication techniques. Additionally, I aim to investigate the optimal materials for soil batteries and explore the creation of structures to contain them using waste materials. Understanding the limitations and opportunities of this low-technology is key, as is speculating on a future that prioritises respect and interconnectedness among all beings.

I intend to explore how soil batteries can contribute to creating ‘self-sufficient systems’ at different scales and contexts, enriching bacterial environments rather than depleting them. Experimentation with different soils, compost, and prototyping low-power alternatives will be integral to this exploration.

Furthermore, I recognise the importance of addressing policy biases towards certain energy systems driven by economic factors and simplicity. Engaging with communities that share similar values and are already active in these areas will help the project to flourish. By spreading knowledge on these topics to individuals who share our values, including children and those with a general interest, we can foster a broader understanding of ‘living energy’.

I also aim to connect with individuals who bring their own perspectives and prototyping techniques to the field. Drawing parallels to the evolution of solar panels, which were once relatively inefficient but improved through investment of time and resources, I envision a similar trajectory for soil battery technology as we work towards a more sustainable future.

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