Design Trust Seed Grant

Improving current street garbage experience using Design Thinking

When you ask people – “What is Design?”, they always relate design to a nice visual or logo. Even for designers, they have little imagination on the potential value design can bring. We want to be the platform, to connect designers from different disciplines, tackle social issues collectively and let them see how design can impact people’s day to day life.

For the first project, we have decided to improve the current street garbage experience. Hong Kong produced 3.7 million tons of municipal waste in 2015 – highest figure for 5 years. It is estimated our current landfills will be used up by 2020. The HKSAR government have already took initial steps to tackle this. However, we have observed minimal improvement since as well as some negative feedback from locals since this began. As such we want to use our user centric methodology to answer two questions:

  1. How might we use design to help reduce street rubbish dumping, increase recycling frequency and educate the public around the needs for waste segmentation & recycling?
  2. How might we use design to create better ways of working for garbage collectors & recyclers and make their daily job duties easier and more meaningful?

Our goal is to design a new street garbage experience, validate with end users via prototyping (garbage throwers and collects) and finally via a pilot before sharing our recommended solution(s) to related parties.

We are aspired to help make Hong Kong, our home, a cleaner, more sustainable and better city to live in.

About Design Change

Design Change is a diverse group of multidisciplinary designers with a passion to use design on a quest for good, creating social impact whilst tackling some of the most pressing challenges in our community.

The name of the group, Design Change, represents precisely this vision. From left to right, it is “design change” – using design to change social related situations and putting the end user back to decision making. From right to left, it is “change design” – changing how people, especially designers view design. Design is much more than aesthetic, it is about bringing positive impact to the people around us. Ultimately, Design Change aims to attract more designers to collaborate and tackle more challenges together.

Every 3 months, Design Change will run a “design sprint” to tackle one social topic, come up with solution(s) using our user-centered design approach and present all findings to related parties. Design Change’s first project is centred on improving the current street garbage experience in Hong Kong, with a focus on garbage throwers and collectors.