GIDE: Havana

Undertaken as part of my Erasmus semester abroad at Thomas More, Mechelen, Belgium – I participated in the GIDE (Group for International Design Education) project. A similar project is undertaken by 6 other international schools including University of Dundee, these projects shared the general theme of ‘Crossing Borders‘.

In Belgium, the specific focus was HAVANA – undertaking a project looking to improve the lives of Cubans who face unique economic, government and sociological challenges . We did this project 1 day every 2 weeks totalling 6 days before presenting our research – after this, we concluded with 3 consecutive sprint days to develop our final concept. Our personal project is explained in the below banner.

In CUBA, people have little access to soap as
a consumable resource (sourced: interview with
Marc Wuytack, regular volunteer in Cuban elderly
homes) but have all the materials required to make
it themselves. Our project aims at connecting the
vibrant communities of Cuba and creates social
impact through something as simple as soap.
The Black Soap project connects tourism,
business & locals to enrich one another: tourists can
purchase the black soap as a souvenir, funding this
new enterprise while locals can attend workshops
and learn how to make soap themselves. By
combining this space & service design project with
an existing architecture project by Iwo Borkowicz
(KU Leuven) we can create an impactful project with
previous evidence to support it’s working method.

GIDE Banner Final

I worked alongside 4 other students Olivier De Boeck, Nele Hanssens, Romi Sollie and Elyse Vertommen from disciples such as Interior & architecture, Interior & concept, Interior & detail. As the Interior & Service Design student on this project, I worked on creating personas based on the stories from our interview, a customer journey map/social enterprise plan, concept and service development, feasibility research and general banner layout. More outputs from the project can be seen below.

Customer Journey/Social Enterprise Map


In Depth Personas

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Bullseye Personas

Little Booklet


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