Dear Five Stone:

 

I have huge interest in being your Digital Designer. I believe that you’ll see that my qualifications skills and experience align with the necessities to fulfill this job not only successfully but with passion.  A bit of me: I am designer that works from empathy.  Through my masters degree in Design for Social Innovation from the School of Visual Arts, I'm skilled in design thinking theory and methodologies. My passion is understanding people ( meeting them where they are ) and finding connections that can lead to design opportunities. I value relationship building and co-creation. 

A strong example is in the work I did with Duquesa, a small rural community in the Dominican Republic that lives in extreme poverty. Their livelihood comes from diving into a landfill that is a few miles away to sort recyclable material. This practice doesn’t discriminate age. At 11, kids help out their family by either cleaning sorted material in their homes or diving into the landfill themselves. Through a range of research methods, including shadowing, 1:1 interviews, cultural probes, behavioral interventions, workshops and rapid prototyping, I found the general problem was school retention, but the deeper contextual problem was that kids got demotivated to go to school because of needs that weren’t being met. I worked with the community, ( school staff, teachers, parents, local vendors ) in creating an intervention called Trueque that would met these needs. The richest part of this project for me, was creating and reinforcing relationships between the community and seeing them all align to a common goal, keeping their kids in school. 

Although the solution to Trueque wasn't a digital one, I believe the process and methodologies still apply in a digital setting. At Mount Sinai I was part of an interdisciplinary team called Health System Design. We were given the task to investigate, navigate, and support systematic changes within the Mount Sinai system. My assignment was to assist in redesigning processes, products and services that will better the patient experience and financial outcome of the primary care clinics. We successfully covered 2 pilots clinics, interviewing +300 patients and +60 staff. We transformed these learnings into practical insights that lead to design solutions, such as the incorporation of a digital feedback tool for patients, an internal feedback tool for staff and better wayfinding. In this project I got to work and learn from people with different backgrounds and perspectives. Also, because it was a diverse team of doctors, academics, and engineers, translating and teaching design to non designers was part of my daily routine. 

I am drawn to the work you have created and your philosophy. Most of all, I think I would be a great addition to your team and for your mission, and would love to chat with someone further about the opportunity. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. 

 

Karla Despradel

 

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