Learning Express (LEx) is a Collaborative Social Innovation Project initiated by Singapore Polytechnic (SP) in collaboration with Institut Teknologi Bandung. Students are motivated to use Design Thinking methodology to co-create innovative prototype solutions to real-life issues. They develop an understanding towards the issues faced by the community in the context of their social, economic, and political culture, then analyse these issues from multiple perspectives. Through this project, students have the opportunity to implement their knowledge, teamwork, and communication skills, develop better understanding of themselves and empathy for the community they are serving, as well as realise the positive impact they could make in the lives of the community in need.
LEx at ITB has been elaborated for three consecutive years since 2017 with a great success and will be continued for years to come. The program involves 54 multidisciplinary students, 27 students from ITB and 27 students from SP for a period of 2 weeks (12 days). The third program was carried out last year (2019) at RW 6, Suntenjaya Village, West Bandung Regency, Indonesia. There were three major problems faced by the community in RW 6 Suntenjaya Village, which were organic fertilizer availability, agricultural equipment transportation (due to steep land), and low income as most of the community are famers.
At the end of this program, four prototypes have been successfully developed to solve those problems. The prototype were a manufacture reactor of organic fertilizer using manure and rabbit urine as the feed stock, a fertilizer dispensing that would not damage the plastic mulch, an equipment for carrying agricultural equipment as well as harvest that could be used on steep farmland, and a rainwater retention system.
The Learning Express program yields in many benefits for the student participants as well as the rural communities where the program is implemented.
Design thinking is a human-centred, prototype driven process for innovation that can be applied to product, education, or business design, recommended by Singapore’s Economic Strategies Committee. Design Thinking uses a range of skills to identify unmet needs and opportunities to create solutions that matter to people. By working on actual practical cases, participants will be trained to implement Design Thinking Tools. The goal of this programme is to transform participants into creative, fluid, and responsive design thinkers, confident in applying Design Thinking techniques to achieve improved results. Brochure