What's been happening at Fix-ed since the human-centred design, repair & social entrepreneurship program launched?
Since launching Fix-ed earlier this year, It's been a jam-packed start to the program, with students discovering first-hand what it is like to be a human-centred designer. They've engaged with a broad part of the community and are on their way to delivering positive impact to elderly citizens.
So what exactly have we done over the last few months? Currently structured as two classes a week, the students started out by defining what success means for them, Fix-ed and the greater community. We realise that starting a school-run social enterprise is a long term project and laying the right foundations as a class was important to ensure the viability and success of the program.
As a team, we engaged in class sessions which helped us individually look at and understand our passions. How could we channel those passions and begin to gain some momentum? This led us to forming three key teams; the Design Strategists, Fixer Gurus and Impact Crew. Students are encouraged to spend time in class leveraging their individual strengths and interests. Whilst students can engage in any activity happening during class, student groups have been leading different elements of the program in parallel. Like any 'real world' project, student groups have been crossing over, sharing knowledge and contributing across a variety of areas.
Students spent time engaging with and learning about the 'design thinking' and human-centred design process with practicing industry professional and academic Tom Allen (one of our program leaders) in order to have a strong framework and methodology on which to base how we may tackle community problems and convert them into opportunities.
PSSC teacher and program leader Stephen Robinson has spent considerable time guiding the class with a particular focus on helping the students through research and hands-on repair. As part of the research process, students engaged in a class tear down, which saw them gaining a better understanding around key waste and design problems inherent in our society.
The TV gods couldn't have timed the release of complementary TV series such as the BBC's 'The Big Life Fix' and the ABC's 'War on Waste any better! Both series have provided students case studies, knowledge and inspiration around both human-centred design and the global waste problem.
John Messenger, (Director of Active Scooters and one of our program collaborators), was quick to join the classroom and beyond donating broken scooters and spare parts, John shared his personal journey from school to running a successful business. He provided some great knowledge and tips not only on how best to repair mobility scooters, but also crucial insights into the daily challenges faced by our elderly citizens.
In order for students to get further 'real life' insights into using design to tackle community issues and understand more about challenges for the elderly, design leaders from RSL Care (other great program collaborators) visited the students and shared a range of stories and helped prepare them to gather research during the excursion.
The excursion was a hugely valuable day out for the students which saw them gathering primary research at a RSL Care Retirement Village as well as at the Tricare Aged Care Centre at Pimpama. Students engaged with a broad range of our community citizens who are experiencing a range of both mental and physical disabilities. On regrouping in the classroom, students synthesised data gathered from the trip, clustered problem areas, created personas and have since decided to focus on tackling a few of the priority areas identified during the trip.
PSSC was recently invited to showcase the Fix-ed program at the inaugural BrisMakerFest at State Library's The Edge. It was a successful day of interacting with the public, industry and government which led to some great exposure and valuable contacts.