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It’s Thursday afternoon in the ThinkPlace Kenya studio in Nairobi and school is in session.
Designers sit, all eyes on the teacher, as he runs through verb conjugation and sentence construction in French.
ThinkPlace has won a major award from the Boston-based Design Management Institute for an ambitious project that uses design thinking to reimagine the global humanitarian system.
The Design Value Award, shared with client the Overseas Development Institute, was presented at a ceremony in Boston. Design Value Awards, recognise teams who have delivered significant value through design or design management practices.
In the halls of Kenyatta Hospital in Nairobi, there is a constant stream of people hustling from one place to another. You are jostled down the corridors, up the stairs, with a sense of urgency in your step but also a sense of belonging. Kenyatta is the largest public referral hospital in Nairobi and takes in patients from all over Kenya. Groups of Kenyans arrive, worn out from long journeys in search of medical help unavailable to them in their communities.
When I first met Mama Carol, I had just walked through her farm. My translator John had explained the different plants to me as we passed maize and macadamia trees. My eyes had been filled with a sea of green, especially the bright green of tea trees that is commonplace in this part of rural Kenya.