D:Lab Mobile Summer Projects Update Session

Over the summer break, the D:Lab had several students use design thinking to innovate and co-create with organizations and companies such as Vodafone, Casa Trassaco, Café Kwae, Burro Brand, GN Electronics and our very own university Ashesi. This event was organised to get a sense of progress and the way forward for each of these projects.

Event Details:
What? – D:Lab Mobile Summer Projects Update Session
When? – Wednesday 12th October 2016
Time? – 2:40 – 4:10pm
Where? – McNulty Foundation Design Lab, King Engineering Building 102.

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Audrey S-Darko, presented on her team’s progress with the Cafe Kwae Use Experience projects and how she looks forward to ending the project with a market strategy proposal that her team will present to the manager of Cafe Kwae. Kelvin Dogbetse detailed his team’s progress on exploring and improving employee productivity of Tradeworks. His team hopes to continue research work, however, the future of this project hinges on their availability outside school work; possibility during school breaks.
Aisha Jallow and Purity Musau, who worked on the Ashesi Fundamentals of Design and Entrepreneurship (FDE) Research project which centred on developing tools (templates etc.) for helping students visualize things in cleaner, more professional and more engaging ways such as developing hieroglyphic-mnemonic devices to help students remember the design thinking process and methods. They presented a few of their findings and how these finding will influence future FDE classes. The D:Lab Coordinators also presented on the state of other projects.

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Tradeworks Solar Project – D:Lab Mobile Report

The Tradeworks project was a project which originated out of the need for the owner of the Tradeworks factory to find a way to improve employee productivity but later evolved into a project which seeks to solve the problem of employee productivity in any factory while providing the members of the team with first hand involvement with the factory revolution in Ghana.

Problem Statement
The problem is that the owners of factories do not know how to measure employee productivity therefore they cannot improve it because once something is not measured it cannot be improved. This is a problem because a decrease in productivity can lead to a decrease in revenue and employee dissatisfaction can affect the company in many ways negatively. The opportunity this problem brings for our team is to become pioneers in consulting for factories in Ghana when it comes to improving their employee productivity.

Research Objective
The team wanted to find a way to measure productivity, they then wanted to find what the obstacles where and how to get rid of those obstacles when it came to improving employee productivity.

Design Approach
The team did do some primary research with engineering students from Ashesi when they had to build solar generators; we used this as a simulated experience. We are currently doing primary research and analysis in a factory we are working with to gain more insight into the pain points of our users.

Findings and Analysis
We found out that allowing employees to have a say into what happens to them and which environment they worked in is very important, we also found out that ergonomics is important in factories because things such as color of instruments and posture go a long way to affect employees. We also found out that factory workers work better when they work according to a rhythm be it music or the sound of the machine. We are also looking into using technology to measure productivity and improving but are still in the researching and testing phase .Also we found out that some problems are unique to some factories and that the management of factories are not usually open to improving employee productivity because of the cost incurred, they would only do this if they have an assurance that their revenue would increase after improving employee productivity.

Solutions
We are still in the Research and Development phase.

Conclusion
It has been fun working on the project but would have been cooler if we had frequent meetings to get updates from other projects to find more insight and also if the D-lab takes care of transportation.

Suggestions
The D:lab should do well to constantly be updated with the pain points their researchers have to be able to solve them quickly. Future researchers should ask those who have done it before (us) how to go about things to avoid making mistakes we did.

2nd Ashesi D:Lab Mobile Presentations & BBQ

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Starting off from Impact Hub Accra, the second stop of the Ashesi D:Lab Mobile was at the McNulty Design Lab, King Engineering Building on the Ashesi University Campus. The event took place on Thursday, Jun 30th 2016 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

27976287362_431f776daf_kThe D:Lab in partnership with the Ashesi Venture Accelerator (AVA), featured Lysanne
Denneboom, the Managing Director of Fundraising Africa, who gave a presentation about new and innovative ways to raise money online for things people care about. Her presentation explained the essence of crowdfunding and how it can be used to make ideas reality through running successful crowdfunding campaigns.

Student teams presented 5-minute updates on the progress made and challenges they face while working on their respective design thinking projects this summer. Teams also interacted on ways they could improve their design processes for their respective projects28044763046_618c87c23b_k.jpg.

Event Coordinators: Theodore Philip Asare, Carl Agbenyega

Media Production: Cybil Mupazviriwo

 

1st Ashesi D:Lab Mobile Presentations and BBQ

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The Ashesi Design Lab (D:Lab) decided to go “Mobile” this summer with students working on exploratory projects with organizations. Ashesi University College (Ashesi) students are employing design thinking in innovating and co-creating products, systems and services with organizations and companies such as Vodafone, Casa Trassaco, Café Kwae, Burro Brand, GN Electronicsand our very own university Ashesi.

The 1st D:Lab Mobile presentations and BBQ took place at The Impact Hub Accra, Osu on Wednesday 8th June 2016 from 3 – 5pm. Students presented on their projects and got feedback from experts in design thinking: Dela Kumahor, Yaw Dankwa Oseo-Asare and Dr. Gordon Adomdza, on how to shape their projects using the design thinking process. Teams had 5 minutes to present on their projects. The event saw about 40 people attend.

Below are a list of projects students are working on:
  • Business Modelling – This project collaborates with PEN Education from the MIT D-Lab to train science teachers on how to teach and develop business models around hands-on-science.
  • Deep Dives – This project is a social innovation project in collaboration with Burro Brand and students from Brown University, employing ethnographic research methods to discover opportunities for innovation in rural communities.
  • Vodafone Innovations mUtility Applications: This project explores how to collaborate on developing technology to develop business models for utilities.
  • MDF’s EnterWASH project: EnterWASH is looking for young ambitious Ghanaians, interested in using enterprise to solve the water, sanitation and hygiene problems in their communities.
  • Cafe Kwae: Understanding the user experience at coffee shops with the study of the rapidly changing socio-economic profile of people in the developing world.
  • Farming Modelling: Exploring agriculture and using design thinking to model farming practices in response to unique food demands in the Accra urban market.
  • OPV Solar project: This team is using design thinking to explore functional forms for the application of organic photo-voltaic cells in collaboration with Dr. Hanne Lauritzen from the Danish Technical Institute.
  • Tradeworks: This project explores creative ways of optimizing work routines for employees while exposing students to the manufacture of solar panels.
  • Cassa Trassaco User Experience: This project explores a potential collaboration with Cassa Trassaco aimed at studying the in-store customer experience for their luxury brands and how to redesign part of it for better outcomes.
  • SE Ghana: The recently launched Social Enterprise Ghana is exploring a collaboration to build hybrid business models for social enterprises with a focus on sustainability.
  • The Cobalt Partners: Explore a series of paid service and (digital) product design opportunities at this Design and Technology consulting firm. Projects will include but not be limited to research, redesign and development of customer experience processes for key clients in the areas of financial services among others. Students are working with a growing team of designers and technologists, led by Dela A. Kumahor.
  • Ashesi FDE Research project: Developing tools (templates etc.) for helping students visualize things in cleaner, more professional and more engaging ways. e.g. developing hieroglyphic-mnemonic devices to help students remember DT process and methods, led by DK Osseo-Asare.