Over the past week, I had the pleasure of meeting the multi-talented Graphic Designer Alex Ostrowski. Alex, a 2008 graduate from Bristol’s University of West England, recently won the RSA and NESTA’s 2007 competition ‘Engage!’
Tagged to "catalyse social change through design-led citizen participation", the Engage! project, aimed to encourage social responsibility in young designers. The 2008 RSA Design Directions brief asked student designers to consider how they could best use design to bring about positive change within a community and instigate a project solution of this nature.
In response to the brief, <a href="http://www.alexostrowski.com">Alex</a> took his skills as a designer to The Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre in Bristol. Through immersive time spent within the Rehabilitiation Centre <a href="http://www.alexostrowski.com">Alex</a> soon discovered that many patients suffer from post-traumatic amnesia and experience confusion in their sense of time, place and person. The term for this lost understanding is disorientation, something the unit is responsible for regaining with patients. Through speaking with staff, Alex established that the process of re-orientation contained some inefficiency and needed addressing. Working closely with staff to establish an appropriate colour system to bring holistic navigation to the unit, which could dually apply to patients' timetables, orientation boards, and the building itself. The project proved very useful for the unit, who have continued with an improved re-orientation strategy.
Winner of the Engage! project, Alex received the RSA Design Directions Award for his supporting book 'I am here' (pictured). To find out his motivations for the project, you can watch an interview with Alex over at the RSA.