Author: Kevin Cheung
Actually, this is my first time to lead a group of secondary school students to go dive into a community, to observe and to communicate. The aim is to let students get in touch with community members and try to design for the good of them. As most of the students are living in Kwun Tong, it comes naturally for the project to start at a neighborhood that they commute every day. Familiar environment will be good for the students to gain empathy.
During their first visit, in just 2 hours the students have already gotten to know a bunch of people. That included a skillful watch repairer, an owner of the stationery shop have been operating for decades, the “Tea Leaf Granny” who sells traditional herbal tea, different owners in the hawker bazaar, and a hardworking cardboard collector. Students found it was a unique experience to communicate with unfamiliar people who live in the same neighbourhood. To find out the difficulties of recycling, a group of students even experienced the process of collecting corrugated fiberboards with a trolley. Eventually, they gained $8.5 with their great efforts!
Later, all the students have designed solutions to bring little changes for the people they met. Some studied the formulation of various herbal teas of the “Tea Leaf Granny” and rebranded it as a line of product. Some others designed upcycled bags with unused fabrics. The making experience will be then converted into making workshops to attract more shoppers to go to the bazaar. Some created a more attractive and user-friendly container for the watch repairer. Some made use of the recycled t-shirts and knitted them into colourful sitting mats for the public furniture and create a more comfortable and appealing public space.
These examples all show the careful minds of students and proof that everyone could make our community a better place if we are willing to open our eyes and devote our effort to make the change.