Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Friday May 15, 2015

Today Professor Lu continued his presentation on product design. We began the class with a friendly competition in which teams raced to place the steps of product development in chronological order. Later we got our creative juices flowing and learned the power of brainstorming. We sat in a circle and came up with different uses for the common hanger. After using some brainstorming techniques we ended up with over thirty different uses each more creative than the next. We learned the importance of brainstorming and how even the craziest ideas are essential to discover the best solution possible. These techniques are going to be very helpful when developing our project.

Our main project is to create a pre-fabricated house that will help improve the living condition in existing Pueblos Jovenes ,or informal settlements, in the outskirts of Lima. After lunch we set off to visit a local shanty town to get a better idea about the conditions and what we could do to help.

While exploring Lima, we drove by the towns and we could tell that the conditions were rough, but actually going in and seeing them up close was so different from what we imagined. The towns were so underdeveloped and lacked basic necessities. There was no running water and there was little electricity, for the most part there was only enough to power one lightbulb and maybe a clothes iron. Through Techo, an organization that builds houses and provides supplies for those in need, we were able to speak to a family that resided in the neighborhood. After speaking to the home owner and her son we discovered that they receive their water from a water truck that comes once a week, and they must purchase sufficient water for that week we also discovered that it cost 6 to 10 times more to provide water to informal settlrments than the affluent parts of Lima.

That experience was eye opening. It is crazy how just 30 minutes from Mira Flores, one of the more wealthy parts of Lima, there exists such extreme poverty. After our visit many of us were surprised and highly distraught; however, I think we are more inspired and determined to develop something that can improve their living situation, and hopefully make their lives easier which will create new opportunities for the families.

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