Munich, winter semester 2016/2017. Having experienced that many of the industrial design jobs and projects are about designing very functional and high-quality but rather non-essential products, I decided to concentrate working on REAL problems. Waste is a real problem for our whole planet. And as especially plastic waste has its origins in industry, I feel like industrial designers like me should really face this issue.
I‘ve been thinking of doing a project in Kenya for a long time, and hoped to be able to realize this plan after finishing my bachelor studies - until I asked myself: Couldn‘t I just use a semester project for this purpose? I told my professor about my consideration, professor was very enthusiastic about it and gave me green light to do it. So I grabbed my stuff and took off!
You may ask: Why Kenya? I’ve been visiting Kenya nearly every year since I was a child. In Germany, trash is mostly out of sight. In Kenya, it’s much more visible and harder to ignore. I wanted to find out why, what there is already being done and what can be improved.
So from the beginning on, it was quite clear to me that it would be more like a research semester, because I needed to get to know the existing initiatives, solutions and challenges in order to come up with constructive ideas. It all would be about visiting people, companies and places to capture the overall picture.
To start my journey, I decided to go back to my roots...