no
no

The Upcycle Project & Interview with P!D

No comments


We went to Participate In Design's (P!D) sharing session of The Upcycle Project at Food For Thought, and then popped over to the exhibition at The Civic Museum. I last posted about The Upcycle Project here - at the time the P!D team had collected furniture from the MacPherson community and intended to involve designers, artists, local craftsmen and students to redesign / upcycle an item so that it best meets the needs of the intended recipient.  With the upcycling now complete, it was lovely to see how the pieces had been re-designed to benefit the recipient families. I caught up with the founders, Jan Lim and Mizah Rahman. 


Jan and Mizah at the sharing session
Photo courtesy of P!D


Tell us a little about yourselves.

M: We are both trained as architects and were classmates back in architecture school. I am a researcher and designer at heart and a firm advocate for participatory design and people-centric design. My interest lies in participatory approaches in design and planning, community design and understanding human behaviour and its relationship with the built environment.

J: I currently work in the field of experience design and design thinking, which involves speaking to and observing users to understand their needs at a deeper level so that we can create great experiences for them. Participatory design takes that one step further to see how we may work with the users in the design process, to empower them to influence and shape their environment. In my free time I also enjoy working with textiles and weaving.


Photo courtesy of P!D
How did you start P!D and what was the motivation behind it?

We started as part of a Master's thesis in architecture in 2010, under the banner of “What's the MacPherson ID(ea)?” to explore and experiment various ways to engage local communities through design. Since then, we have continued our efforts with the community at MacPherson and eventually founded Participate in Design (P!D) in 2012. P!D is a non-profit design organization dedicated to engaging and enabling people in shaping their everyday environments and local communities. We are motivated by the belief that everyone has the right to participate in and influence the design and planning processes that affect them. We focus on people. When we talk about people, we talk about users, communities and regular citizens. These are the people who live, work and play in the spaces we create, whose interactions with architecture extend beyond our own interaction with it. This is what we aim to do as a design organization.



Could you share any hurdles / teething problems you had to overcome? Could you share a success story?

As a non-profit design organization in Singapore that advocates and practices participatory design, we initially faced various challenges in getting people to understand what we do and why we do what we do. Many of the more successful engagement tools and techniques come from other Western and Asian cities. The challenge here lies in adapting the tools and techniques that work successfully overseas for our local context; they may not be as effective here due to various reasons such as differences in culture and social practices. Thus, a lot of what we do is experimental and evolve organically.

In our latest initiative, The Upcycle Project, we started with a question: what other hidden strengths are out there within the community and how might we draw them out? The goal is to enable both residents and designers to recognize their own capacity to contribute to the community, using storytelling and everyday objects. In particular, we wanted to see how we could involve people from the lower-income. We collected items that people no longer needed in their homes, like furniture, as well as stories about them. We then matched designers to other residents to see how we could re-use some of these items and transform them into new things that the residents would find useful. So essentially we are facilitating a series of exchanges between residents and the creative industry, bringing people from diverse backgrounds together to participate in a project that could better the community.


Photo courtesy of P!D

How do you think P!D can get Singaporeans to be more conscious about what they buy and dispose of?

M: I hope that though The Upcycle Project, people will realise the various possibilities of what they can do with the existing resources that they already have, and how these objects that we buy and throw could be of use to others within our neighbourhood.

J: A little creativity is all you need to turn something old into something better – creativity that everyone has – and that is what The Upcycle Project seeks to demonstrate.





If you haven't had the chance to visit the exhibition, pop by The Civic Museum, Queen's Street (Bras Brasah MRT). The exhibition is on until 23 Dec, 10am - 7pm on wkends and by appointment on weekdays.
author profile image
Abdelghafour

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

No comments

Post a Comment

no
no