Learn about design thinking
This year’s design school
theme was ‘Oceans’.
In particular – coastal
inundation and flooding
due to climate change in
the city of Charleston,
Design a floating mobile emergency response
clinic that could be rapidly deployed in flood
situations throughout Charleston.
Limited budget (Ovabucks)
Clients (Arup principals)
Design and build
4 minute pitch and Q&A
Floatation and wave test
1 day to do it all!
Concept: Modular outrigger
Features: You can actually take it apart
Did it float: of course it did (sort of)
Features: Large community area
Did it float: It stood on 4 poles
Concept: Modular floating rooms
Features: Solar panels on the roof
Did it float: Yes, quite well actually
Concept: Inflatable clinic
Features: Uses balloon technology
Did it float: Yes, lopsidedly
Concept: Floating truck
Features: Drives on land and in water
Did it float: Yes
1. Talk to the client
One hour after the teams were given the
task and set off into design mode, it was
noted that no team had actually thought of
talking to the client.
2. Understand the client’s budget and how it is
All teams focussed on cost minimisation
(which potentially impacted on quality). In
reality a client be motivated to spend their
3. In reality if you follow the specification/rules
to the letter of the law, you will not win.
The client may not be able to articulate their
REAL issue in the brief. In a competitive
environment, being flexible, creative and
applying innovative ‘kick-ass’ ways to solve
these issues for clients is how we can
deliver value to them and put us ahead.
All of the Arup leaders have been in situations
that put themselves out of their comfort zone
and needed to be rescued at some point.
We should challenge
ourselves and know
that we have the full
backing of Arup so we
won’t be in the panic
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