Project Entry for SIE Innovator Challenge
12. What is your idea? * (Please sum up your idea in no more than 150 words).
The “Apocalypse-Makers” DIY kits challenge kids to consider how they would do everyday tasks without the consumer society we have become so reliant on.
It is becoming increasingly easy to forget where products come from or where they go after we use them. These fun and educational technology kits contain the instructions and components to make items such as a DIY crystal (not powered) radio and a wind up iPhone charger under the narrative that “society as we know it has collapsed” and these are the only ways to communicate.
The product fits in well with the “maker culture” trend, yet subtly directs users to a more serious note: the effect that our wasteful society is having on the environment. Through the process of being creative, and also scavenging for components, these kits will help to get young people having conversations about consumer culture that can begin to change mindsets.
13. What makes your idea innovative? * (No more than 100 words).
The idea takes the fun and engaging “maker” movement trend (with existing brands such as Raspberry Pi and Bare Conductive gaining a lot of traction), and recognises its potential to teach people about an important issue, environmental sustainability. This combination of creativity with critical thinking is very powerful as it encourages users to “think through doing” and therefore to explore problems laterally.
14.What problem or opportunity does your idea address? * (No more than 150 words).
It is so easy for young people today to just consume and consume. This doesn’t just include buying products but is reinforced by watching television and social media habits. The “Apocalypse-Makers” kits will re-engage young people not only to produce instead of consuming, but additionally to question the impact of their consumption. The kits challenge them to consider the elements of their lifestyle they take for granted, leading them to a life of active citizenship.
15.What inspired you to enter? * – Tell us what drives you and the personal skills and qualities you, and any co-entrants, have that will help you make your idea happen. (No more than 100 words).
I am a trustee for the charity Skill Share Dundee and it is through my experience running events for them that I have learned about the incredible social impact that supporting creativity can have on empowering individuals to be critical thinkers.
As a Product Design student who dedicates her practice to sustainable design, I saw the merging of the social impact of making with sustainability as an exciting opportunity.
I also greatly enjoyed Innovation Weekend last year. I am very outgoing and I thrived on the opportunity to meet and connect with so many likeminded and determined people.
16. How is your idea going to make a difference to how people live in Scotland? * – Think about groups your idea will impact upon. (No more than 100 words).
Because my kits target young people, I could help to inspire a generation who no longer see products as disposable but as valuable resources with complex systems behind them. I want to inspire young people to be creative in everything they do, and take ownership for their environmental impact.
In the next few months I will be testing my kits with small groups such as Skill Share Dundee and some local youth groups. I will document my experiences of using making to create critical conversations in order that other creative groups across Scotland could also recognise this potential.
17. What else might you need to make your idea happen? * (No more than 50 words).
I am currently developing the developed prototype kit as my final year university project. Most beneficial to me at this stage would be links to organisations and likeminded individuals who could help me to actually start getting the kits out to users. Last year at Innovation Weekend I met so many like-minded individuals and I’m applying as I hope for that opportunity again.