Victoria Horn – Chile

Week 9: The First Final Deliverable

Ths week was the worst I of the whole year, and is up on the ranks of the worst of my life.  Personal problems combined with academic difficulties and technical mishaps which, in the very last hours of prototyping, made it impossible for me to complete my tasks.  I am the reason our team did not have a video to present at the final deliverable.

I am officially done with this project.   I no longer care if I even approve the course.  All I want is to be able to focus on my academics and pass my official courses, which I am at high risk of failing.  I need to put myself first and that is what I am going to do from now on.  Sorry team, have given up.  This is affecting my mental and emotional health more than ever in my life.

I am deeply disappointed in this project and in this course. Deeply.  The whole thing feels like a joke.  The lack of commitment and professionalism demonstrated by the teachers, authorities and counterparts, starting with the fact that the whole innovation problem feels like it was made up, made it very clear to all students participating that no professionalism was expected from them either.  The rules of the game kept changing for me, and a huge source of frustration is the fact that I signed up for a course given two days a week, from 2 pm to 5 pm. It would have been logical to have the important presentations and activities at these times.  However, I came to find that they were held at every other time of the week, during my classes.  I CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO LOSE CLASS. Those are NOT the conditions under which I signed up for this, and it has also made me an outsider within my group.  What is more, whenever I made the effort to attend and effectively missed academic activities because of this, the presentations never, ever,  started on time.  Once, we were summoned at 1 pm to start the deliverables, and the presentations started at 1:50 pm.  This is a huge lack of respect to all involved in the project, and things like this have been the usual treatment.  I am angry beyond words, and extremely sad that this is the image of Chile everyone got to see.    I am sad that this is the image of me…. that everyone got to see.

There are many, many more things that I would like to say about this project… some good and some critiques.  However, right now this is what is what comes immediately to mind.  Soon I promise to write with a cooler head… and to analyze better every aspect of the course.


Week 8: Preparing the Final Deliverable

Next week we will be presenting our prototype.  This means there is a lot, A LOT, to be done.  For this, we have divided the tasks according to our strengths as a team: I got digital work concerning the video and Illustrator images.

At this point in the challenge, I am very frustrated.  I feel like it i being hanles carelessly, without any seriousness or regard for the people who have invested their whole semesters in it.  For example, our team was in charge of this week’s Breakfast.  Supposedly, we would begin at 9 am and then, at 10, have a fundamental ideation class.  Ths whole routine was so important, they told us, that I decided to skip my morning classes at University in order to attend.  However, I stayed until 11:30 am and the activty had not yet begun.  I felt horrible, bordering on stupid, for putting first the breakfast instead of my classes, which are my OBLIGATIONS as a student at PUC.    This has succeeded in loosing the little respect I had left for DUOC and its authorities.

Week 7: Refining the Solution

This week was all about fine-tuning the solution and presenting it as a Deliverable.  Here, our teachers and T.A gave us very detailed feedback on our project: where we are going wrong, and what is on the right track.

This week, on Thursday, I had my Final! That was really exhilarating and nerve racking! It was an amazing experience that I am very proud to have been a part of, and finally I can begin to focus more on LAPASSION.

Week 6: Showing our work

On Monday, we had a Reverse engineering class with Coni.  I feel like we didn’t get too much out of it, but it was really fun tearing apart all the contraptions.  However, seeing the insights our DILAB classmates had on their own reverse engineering was very interesting and eye opening.IMG_1192.JPG

So! this week we finally got to show the early solution stage of our work to our counterpart.  It was a wonderful event hosted by Aguas Lab at IF BLANCO in Recoleta.  There, the groups prepared three minute pitches and then conversed privately with the counterpart.

Gonzalo was pleased with our work.  We received positive feedback and suggestions on what to base our solution.  IMG_1226.JPG

After the pitches, the networking began, and by that I mean PARTY! Or… kind of.  Good moods, a little bit of whine and a whole lot of making friends that included a National Dance demonstration by me!


This week I had hoped to be more present than last week, but I was preparing hard for the final stage of the Innovation and Enterpreneurship Competition at my Faculty.

Week 5: Possible Solutions

This week was a hectic, horrible mess.  My team was wonderfully supportive of me and allowed me to be mostly absent from the solution finding process.  They, however, did an amazing job.

Next week, it is back into the fray for me!

Week 4: Back to the Drawing Board (literally!)

So! Our previous opportunity turned out to be incorrect! It was back to the drawing board, ASAP.  Back to doing interviews, this time to elders who do not frequent the parks.  Back to transcribing, coding, decoding and trying to draw insights from what we had managed to find.  We focused on the reasons why elders choose to stay home instead of going out to the park.  We analyzed everything form loneliness, neighbor interaction, hazards, daily routine and health variables.

At first, we came up with another opportunity that was doomed to fail, one which involved working with the elder’s relationships with kids and their interest in trasferring real life, non-tech knowledge in order to draw them to the park.


This, however, would not do and neither of us was satisfied.  That is why, after a few despairing moments, it was back to the whiteboard once again.

Finally, with the clock ticking and running out of time, we came to our new opportunity.

” To help the elderly leave their comfort zones by creating a positive and beneficial experience around getting to the park.”

Image: our drawing board.  Ha!


Next week will be a very short week, as Monday and Tuesday are holidays!

Week 3: Finding our Opportunities

This week was all about digesting, processing, evaluating and drawing conclusions from our fieldwork.

We started off with transcribing and coding the interviews.  This way, we could have and objective way to analyze them: by looking for certain repetitive themes, words and phrases.  This could give us insights as to what is most important to the visitors of the park: both to them personally and to them in relation to how the interact with it.

Once we coded and decoded the information, I was tasked with creating the personas for the presentation.  Here is one of them: Bessie Persona.  The TA actually congratulated me on them! It turns out that we weren´t  expected to make personas so soon, and was surprised at how well I had done.

This week we came up with three opportunities.

Thought of the week: To be able to work in a language that is foreign to all of us is a daunting challenge that is getting harder and harder. As the level of our investigation increases, conveying our ideas and viewpoints efficiently and correctly is a mammoth of a task.  We have to be patient with each other and understanding of our main ideas in order to have efficient communication.  What’s more: effective wording of our opportunities was something that we struggled with, that we had to iterate over and over again in order too feel like it reflected our actual meaning.  Even so, we all feel like we are learning in heaps and feel proud of our achievements.

bonus: Me hard at workIMG_1070.JPG

Week 2: Fieldwork

This week started with a meeting with Gonzalo García Mendez, our counterpart, in the offices of  the Metropolitan Park of Santiago.  We spoke about the scope of our project, the scale and the expected outcome.  Also, it was agreed that we would visit 4 parks in Santiago, which should be similar to each other in order to be comparable.  That day we took the opportunity to visit the main attractions of the Metropolitan park and begin our observations.

Our fieldwork consisted on visiting 6 Parks, three in the upper west side of the city, and thee on the eastern-centric part.  I visited four of them.

Parque de las Esculturas



Parque Araucano



Parque Juan Pablo Segundo



Parque Quinta Normaldav





Week 1: Finally!

Up until this week, it felt as if I had been holding my breath,  waiting for the program to begin and our foreign teammates to arrive.  We had not been idle, though.  For a month, we (Chilean LAPASSION team members) had been having classes with Constanza Miranda, head Professor of DILAB, learning about the basics of the innovation process alongside our Chilean Design-Engineering classmates.  We learned about teamwork, performing under pressure and investigative research.  As fun and instructive as it was,  I had been, indeed, holding my breath.

When the Program was finally launched, I started to breathe.  Meeting our teammates was exciting, as well as finally knowing what our challenge and counterpart would be.  To my relief, we were assigned a challenge concerning the Parks of Santiago, the most similar to my area of studies, so I felt confident that we were going to be able to make a difference and perform well in the course.

At this stage not much is known to us.  Even though we have a challenge, we do not have the contact of our counterpart.  We have started doing research, and are taking things slowly.  After all, getting to know each other is as important as everything else.