Welcome to my blog giving some background information about my gofundme page, where I am raising money to cover the fees for a design masters. I have pledged to pay forwards every donation I receive with a random act of kindness and this is the place you can follow my progress.
Five years ago I realised I quite fancied being a designer. More specifically, that I wanted to use the tools of product design and innovation to help solve social problems. Stuff like global warming and poverty. You know: the low-hanging fruit.
As a biochemist, I have absolutely no background in design, so I decided the only course that I was interested in applying for was Innovation Design Engineering (IDE) at the Royal College of Art in London - one of the best design courses in the world. Perfectly reasonable!
As it happens, the course providers thought so too. They were interested in my background in bionanomaterials and they offered me a place. Unfortunately, the British Government recently withdrew funding for students embarking upon an equivalent- or lower-level qualification to one they already hold. Because I hold a PhD, that means my fees are £54,000. A daunting sum of money that I am required to pay because of a qualification without which I could not have been accepted onto the course I am so desperate to complete. Joseph Heller, anyone?
I know there are plenty of inspirational people just as deserving, or more, than I but if I am to do this, I need a little help. In return, I pledge to pay forwards every donation I receive with a random act of kindness.
My hope is that, for every donation I receive, I will be able to increase the amount of awesome in the world by a little bit and spread the goodwill further than the bank account of the RCA. I will blog about the acts of kindness I commit here, so you can see my progress and exactly what I am doing to ensure I merit your generosity at least a little bit.
To kick things off, I have made 55 origami cranes, each saying “平和な一日になりますように”, which means “may your day be peaceful”, which I will drop into the letter boxes of 55 of my neighbours. Why 55? One for each £1000 I need to raise, plus one extra, because when I told a colleague about my idea for this blog, she handed me ¥100. Here they are:
And the extra one, in honor of my first donation and my first official paying forwards:
If you have any questions, please get in touch and I will do my best to answer them.
Oh, and please go fund me!
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough: they’re there to stop the other people” – Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
1. This is British understatement: when I close my eyes at night, images of tables littered with sticky-back plastic dance across my mind and post-it notes with ideas scrawled on them leap over fences. I get design textbooks as birthday gifts and I read them cover to cover. I see examples of good and bad design everywhere I look and my friends and family have developed glazed “she’s on about problem-solving techniques again” expressions. I’ve started to use words like “passion”, “dream”, “drive” and “calling”, and it bugs me that they are clichés and there are no non-clichéd words to describe how much this subject excites me. I think I may be a design nerd.
2. This is also British understatement.