Luz Alba Gallo is a design student in Bogotá, Colombia who was an avid participant in the Grameen Social Business Challenge. She also blew us away when she sent us this incredible update of a collaboratively pursued prototype from the Maternal Health Challenge. She managed to find some time to chat with us:
What first drew you to get involved in OpenIDEO?
I guess I have to thank my teacher for introducing OpenIDEO to our design class, Estudio 6. We became involved together during the Maternal Health Challenge.
And how's the ride been so far?
Incredible! I love this community and the challenges. I like having the opportunity to express those random ideas that come to my mind and can be really valuable if I share them. I also like the social ingredient in all the challenges. I can assure myself that been a designer is not only about creating chairs, it can also be about changing people’s minds to improve our world.
So, tell us about your class, Estudio 6:
Estudio 6 is a class focused on the conception and development of design projects by undergraduates in the Design School of the Universidad de Los Andes. Students develop their collaborative projects with the support of the teacher, Hernando Barragán. Many require rigorous fieldwork and diverse tools to investigate the context for which the project is intended. Each independent group decides how to prototype and investigate their chosen topic with the whole class providing constant evaluation of each group’s project.
Why do you think prototyping is an important part of the design process?
When you think about a product or an experience you’ll always think about it from your own perspective, meaning you’re likely to miss many valuable insights and predictions. When you prototype you’re allowing a potential end-user to engage with something that was previously an abstract idea – which may highlight elements that you haven't yet considered. It can lead to more meaningful iterations of your original idea. I also feel that it is the most interesting part of the whole process because you get to experience many incredible things when you put people in the picture alongside your ideas.
What’s coming up for you around design and the pursuit of social impact?
Before, I just wanted to be the best graphic designer of all time. But the past challenges have really changed my career plans and now I know that I can combine social impact with design. So now I’m thinking about improving my concept of the Nutritional Community Center in order to present it as my graduation project. Also with my Estudio 6 group, we are trying to improve the visual side of our Let’s meet your baby! concept to present it to relevant organisations. Plus I’m working on a project with an environmental engineer on the recycling experience. Getting involved in OpenIDEO has made me discover a new, inspiring face of design.
Cheers Luz. We hope to see more of your ideating goodness in future!