Family by Family

We want to see all families thrive not just survive

From Roundabouts to Roller Coasters

Friday, August 17, 2012

Before I joined the Family by Family team I’d always worked on a project – a few months of a particular subject and process that led from investigation to ideas, prototypes and solutions. The solutions sometimes became real and live on today, sometimes they became ripples of other changes and other times they vanished. What always happened though, was that the project ended and we had created solutions and someone else, local people, partner organisations, some of the team, someone besides me, determined how they lived on in the real world.

I thought that this was how design happened in the social space, just pause a problem area and then sort it all out…

Then one day Family by Family needed a designer to work on a couple of interactions since they’re still new and growing. I had no idea how much life was about to change. Now that I’m designing within a team and a solution that’s in the real world, running and happening, it’s like I’ve moved from going in circles around a roundabout to being on a roller coaster. Every week so much stuff simply has to happen, and new ideas and opportunities have to fit and work within everything else, and with people who are already invested and used to things being a certain way. There’ve been times when I literally hid under a table in the office, just for a few minutes, to escape for a bit.

All in all though, I think being Family by Family’s designer has kicked me into being a grown up “real” designer, as I see the impact of changes for families. Before, I thought I was all about people and designed with them, but now I’m working at a whole new level! Every story, every conversation, every interaction, every family, every moment I’m trying to understand, reflect and design to create even better outcomes for families. Less and less I’m feeling like I want to pause the whirlwind and more and more I’m embracing the chance to really and truly do work that’s creating change.

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