What can be prototyped and tested in eight weeks? How did the three teams structure their work and plan for success?
After laying the main foundations of their projects and determining where they wanted them to go, it was time for the teams to assess the situation on the ground again, or what we call the Discovery Phase in the design process.
(Re) Discovery Phase
For Hamida Team, the first step to take was to understand and quantify the waste generated from the camps, so they could plan the upcycling products accordingly. Najwa, the team leader, bought the recycling containers and spent the first ten days of work with several women from the camps to sort soda bottles, nylon bags, flash bottles, plastic bags, cola bags.
The Schools District Team started the discovery phase with a door-to-door assessment: they conducted a perception survey to see how the people of Barr Elias perceived recycling, also identifying which families were directly affected by cancer-related deaths due to the pollution of the Litani River. This step gave them an overview of the population’s general knowledge of their relationship to waste and how they could start introducing recycling habits.
Project Ziad had to reexamine the landscape of waste management in Saida. Who are the major stakeholders apart from the restaurants? Where is the waste collected first? How is it recycled? How does it reach the waste management facilities and how frequently? They set meetings with the municipality and various organizations including the New Trading & Contracting Company (NTCC) to map out the ecosystem and understand where they could bring value and create the incentive to engage the restaurant’s workers and owners in the project. Next, they approached the individual restaurants and selected three to be part of this prototyped phase.
• Building their word on awareness, the Schools District Project decided to merge the 5R’s in one date in August, to bring awareness at a Kermess for both youth and adults.
• The Hamida Team decided to help gather the waste from 107 tents in the camp, organize a day with an upcycling expert to teach the women on five designs with ten days to work on them until an exhibition.
• Project Ziad planned to start the work with three restaurants along the Saida corniche with a training for the workers, followed by two weeks of collection with the help of volunteers. They organized collection every other day with the NTCC.
Communication and Outreach
Now that teams knew how their prototypes were going to operate on a system level, it was time to gather information and design the communication tools that were going to help them spread their message.
Overcoming Barriers, Re-Iterating, and Learning
As soon as work on the ground started, teams got a sense of what it really takes to make a project succeed. Working on the ground gave the team an opportunity to embrace learning and iterating on the go which is an intricate part of the design process. For example, after their first items were produced, Team Hamida noticed they needed to incite the women to work with more precision in order to get higher quality products. They refined their techniques and the choice of materials by seeking help from different experts to get to the result they needed. The Schools district project learned how to integrate new learnings from the assessment surveys in their work, and Project Ziad learned to adapt their pitch to restaurants after they’ve had a few rounds of trial.