Danny and IDEO designer Jessie Silver building toilet prototypes
It’s been a while since we’ve updated, but we’ve been hard at work prototyping some of our concepts to bring back to Kumasi for user feedback. This weekend, after weeks of building, we’ll be on our way, toilets and all!
We’ll be in Ghana for two weeks, and will have six functional toilet prototypes with us. We’ll leave the toilets with several families throughout the city to get their feedback on the various functional elements, service scenarios and initial market positioning before returning to San Francisco to refine the prototypes further.
Adam Reineck (an uber-talented IDEO Industrial Designer and the newest member of the Ghanasan team), Jocelyn Wyatt and I will do our best to update the blog while we’re in the field to share our experiences. And if you see a few designers boarding a plane to Ghana with 6 toilets in hand, be sure to say hello!
-Danny Alexander, IDEO (@dalexdalex)
We’ve come to the end of the first phase of the Ghanasan project and are thrilled to share our deliverable which includes both research findings and opportunity areas from the IDEO team as well as concepts that inspired us from the OpenIDEO challenge.
Please share your comments or questions with us. We look forward to your feedback as we begin the next phase of this project with Unilever and WSUP next week. We’ll keep up the blogging and Tweeting as we continue to prototype and learn.
Thank you all for your fantastic contributions to OpenIDEO! This work is so much stronger because of all that you have done to support it.
Since returning from the holidays, the Ghanasan team has spent our time reviewing the concepts posted on OpenIDEO and brainstorming some of our own.
With our extended team, we reviewed the submissions from OpenIDEO and were incredibly inspired by all the great ideas and the tremendous amount of work that went in to creating the concepts. We selected 22 concepts for evaluation and are feeding them in to the final deliverable.
After evaluation is complete, we’ll post the final document here. Thank you OpenIDEO community for all your great work on this challenge! We can’t tell you how useful it’s been!
We spent the week before the holidays doing synthesis and early concept development for the Ghanasan project. Synthesis is generally thought of as a black box of the design process – no one really knows how it happens. To some extent, that’s true. But for the most part, it’s just an iterative process of going back and forth between insights, design principles, and concepts (in this case relatively simple storyboards laying out different options for sanitation systems). More about the synthesis process in the Human Centered Design Toolkit.
Because this phase of the project ends a week after we return in the New Year we needed to get pretty far along quite quickly. We did this in part by hosting a couple brainstorms with our colleagues and getting inspired by the great concepts going up on OpenIDEO.
To give a better sense of the existing options for most people in Kumasi, we’ve put together this little slideshow. It’s not intended to be comprehensive, but it should shed some light on the choices people have available to them, and some of the benefits and drawbacks of each.
We had a series of great expert interviews yesterday and today with Safisana, Relief International,CHF and Boafo in Accra. All of these organizations are tackling the issue of sanitation, and offered us valuable insight to their operations.
A common thread throughout all of these conversations is the importance of considering how to add value at every step of the process – from education about sanitation to thinking about getting a toilet to financing to installing the toilet to maintaining it to emptying it to transporting the waste to disposing of it safely. Each of these steps provides an opportunity to create money making (or at least not profit losing) enterprises which will create jobs and improve living conditions. The challenge with this spread of opportunities is that the system which links them must be robust enough not to breakdown at any point.
The conversations have left us thinking more about the systems level design that needs to happen. We will be applying lenses of desirability, fesability, and viability (including long term environmentally responsible practices) to these systems in the next couple of weeks.
-Svava Atladottir, IDEO (@svavamaria)
Knowing that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, we’ve put together a few photos that gives a sense of the prevailing sanitation conditions that face many developing country cities such as Kumasi.
Click on the image below to visit the page.
- Andy Narracott, WSUP