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"I am passionate about design with approach social, as a way to change the world."
Sara Alonso, Tecnun'15, has worked in Africa on design participatory service projects to improve the development of under-resourced communities.
Lover of ice skating, Aspace volunteer during her stay in Tecnun and former student of the Degree of Engineering in design Industrial and development of Products. She is Sara Alonso and after a few months working in the European project Party Horizon 2020 in South Africa and Namibia, with tourism stages accompanied with volunteer activities activities in Tanzania and Zimbabwe, she returns to Donosti.
Combining her job at design BIGd studio with her work as a skating teacher and coach allowed her to afford a trip she knew she was going to make sooner or later. The idea of packing her bags, getting to know new cultures and improving people's lives by doing what she loves has always stoked Sara's plans. "It's that to help you have to do what you know. In my case, what I as Sara can contribute." The design is her passion, and although no one quite understands what I've been doing all this time -as she says with a laugh-, she has been working on design projects of participatory services, aimed at promoting the development of communities with few resources.Sara Alonso: "The basis of design is to detect needs".
"I had to design something with them that was for them," he says of his time in Kimberley, South Africa. "That's the participatory design . Detecting needs and helping them to be the ones to propose changes that will improve their lives," he says. The opportunity to travel to South Africa came to him thanks to his professor at Tecnun, Adrián Larripa, with whom he worked at the design BIGd company in Pamplona when he finished Degree at the School of Engineering. One of the projects she was immersed in was the Party Horizon 2020 and Adrián Larripa thought of Sara to be part of it. "Opportunities come when you look for them...", she says with a smile.
Party Horizon 2020 is an international and cross-sectoral project coordinated by the University of Lapland that focuses on cooperation for development through knowledge exchange between researchers, international organizations from financial aid and local actors themselves. Its goal is to support human development and help reduce youth unemployment by fostering youth participation and inclusion through innovative tools. "It sounds bombastic but it's simplified to putting yourself in their shoes," he explains about this branch of design. His mission statement was to design a system whereby young Boskians in their 20s and 30s would regain interest in the content broadcast by the region's only radio station, XK-FM, and in turn get a job.
The design methodology developed by project acted as tool to foster understanding between the young people and the radio, and to promote the development of the Bushmen community, because "people don't have TV, there is a lot of illiteracy, very low schooling rates and the radio is one of the most common ways to get information and spread their culture," explains Sara. "One day they suggested that the radio talk about how to prepare a resume, for example, a need that here is minor but there can change the lives of many unemployed young people...", she continues.
As Sara says,"the idea is not to impose anything, but to listen and detect needs so that they themselves can provide an answer. That is the basis of design, and what motivated her to study engineering at Tecnun".