The Project Proposal

Designers work on projects which may start in two ways:

1. The Designer encounters a clearly defined project that someone else has worked out. This happens usually when you are in a job or working for a design consultancy part time. In some sense you are sittign at the bottom of the food chain – and things have been figured out before you got there. You are there because of the skills you bring to the job. In these instances you will see something called a BRIEF. Google ‘design brief’ to understand more about this. The Brief is drafted by the client who uses it to instruct the designer to do the project with specific and clear outcomes.

2. The Designer has to work out the project. This happens when the designer is leading the project – and is not part of someone else’s project. In this case he needs to plan and work out the project – IF he wants someone else to pay him to do the project. I ( and my colleagues Mick and Laim) often have to write proposals to get funded to do the projects that I do. A few recent projects that I have got funding for are ‘Project Diabetes’ and ‘Great Civilizations’. In the past I have secured funding to do my work on ‘waste’ and ‘ecodesign’.  I also set up and got support for the ‘Learner Centered Project’ in 2004. So basically if you want to do your thing you need to write a proposal.

See I can show you these proposals – see this for the Diabetes Projevct ( There are many unsuccessful proposals – and I can show you these too. Each agency that sets aside funds for people to apply for – has its own format for proposals. These funds are called GRANTS and you can see this Victorian Govt site for YOUTH wanting to apply for grants:

So are you ready to write your project proposal?

If you are you may need these resources:



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Harley Ride

Rode a Harley yesterday. And it was an amazing experience of excess. Big bike, big throb and just big. And you wear this small open face helmet – to feel the wind. And you feel quite sanguine – just gently happy with the world. And you can even say -‘man’ without feeling like a poser.

Fat_Boy small.jpg

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Ban ‘fail’ word: NCERT

Got this from the Times of India (

"Concerned over increasing number of suicides among students, the NCERT, a central apex body, has suggested to schools across the country to replace the word fail with unsatisfactory or repeat.

The national focus group on exam reforms at the NCERT has said it is unjustified to declare a student pass or fail on the basis of a single, three-hour public exam. There should be a more comprehensive way of evaluating students by employing multiple techniques of assessment.

The group has suggested a school-based and continuous assessment for all classes. This will lessen the load and tension on students, and makes teachers more accountable.

Another important recommendation is to make a provision allowing a student to re-take the exam in a short period to improve on the unsatisfactory grade(s). “The stigma of fail hits students so badly that they take the extreme step of suicide. It’s time we stopped using such terms and replace them with words that will not demoralise completely,” sources told TOI.

The group’s suggestion will come as a boon to Karnataka which has nearly 50% of its students failing in the annual SSLC and PU exams.

Led by eminent educationists, including IIT/IIM directors and various research institutes, the group has told exam boards to reform the system and remodel the question paper to test creativity and application of mind."

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China was Magical

sam sleeps

I travelled with Scott to China. And have to say Scott makes a great travelling companion – he is just so funny. So Laughed a lot – which is good for my constitution. And it got me into a ‘jokey’ frame of mind – so I began to furiously pull his leg. And he took it well.


Then we missed our flight in Singapore – because we were chatting, scott was shopping ( can he shop!!), and I had left all the adjustment of clocks to Scott and his PDA. We land up at the departure gate to find no mention of our flight – with scott saying ‘hang on’. I walk up to airport staff and am told it left an hour ago. Ouch! Scott is redfaced – I was to see this often through the trip. And I start to crack up – I am excited, I have never missed a flight ( well not since my 1991 tokyo flight). This trip is going to be fun I tell myself.


We eventually make it to China, and swishy Foshan Hotel. The Hotel started off being stiff – all because of the chap aat reception who signed us in. But by the end of the trip I was all warm and glowy – and can do a real nice review of the place. This was a trip to fall in love with Foshan – and both Scott and Nick had a big role to play in that.

I asked Scott his 5 on our trip back. And is something I do with my kids. So let me see – 5 good things about China and this project (great Civ) for me are:

1. Travelling wth Scott: He is quite funny – and we missed the flight in sing. Which was one high point of my trip.

2. The hutong evening. It was quite spectacular. And sitting next to Nick – having my ear bent by this maniacally enthusiastic mandarin language feind was exhilerating.

3. The Footy Match: The joy, the rush and the rain. was good to see the FU students throw themselves at the ball.

4. Fan and Pei: Reconnecting with Fan and Pei was nice. They are so quiet and so amazingly organised. You should see what I had to do to get the India stint happening in June. I really respect Pei and Fan – and look forward to interacting more with them in the future.

5. Laughter. There was so much laughter on this trip. Part of it was my hanging out with Scott. Then the other part was just being able to make others laugh. Then the 5 of the students – and doing ‘abbey road’. That was cool.

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