sustainability in developing communities - reflective journal - fernanda batista

Download Sustainability in Developing Communities - Reflective Journal - Fernanda Batista

Post on 08-Mar-2016




0 download

Embed Size (px)


This is a Reflective Journal of the subject Sustainability in Developing Communities. Semester 2 of 2013. The University of Melbourne.


  • 1

    Sustainability in Developing Communities

    Reflective Journal

    Fernanda Batista 609040 SEM 2 l 2013

  • 2



    My name is Fernanda, 22 years old, study abroad student in the second semester here at The University

    of Melbourne. I am currently taking the Bachelor of Environments, Major Architecture.

    It is kind of difficult to explain why I choose this subject. The most reasonable thing to say is that it was in

    my path along the experiences I am supposed to pass during my period at this university. I heard about it

    through some friends that share the same interests as me, read the description in the handbook and

    decided to try.

    Since I was in elementary school I have been involved in volunteer work, and it is something that I

    consider an important point of my life story. The experiences that I have been through because I was

    inserted in those activities were really important to define my personality and help me to become the

    person I am today.

    As a future architect and young person I have a taste for travelling, specially exotic and unusual

    destinations. At this moment of my life it represents a need for me to know the world and discover what

    it has to offer. I like to experience places, not only visit, but try to live it understand its culture and the

    reality of the local citizens.

    I was born in Brazil, in the capital, of one of the poorest states of the nation. Along my life I have seen

    poverty in various interfaces and caused by different reasons. Fortunately I do not live this reality but

    based on what I have seen and especially the place and people I come from I can understand in a

    reasonable way what destitute people go through in life.

    I would like to make a difference for people like this. Everything I do in my life, all the effort I put in each

    work I get involved and perform, it is not only for me and my professional and personal growing, I want

    to be great and big in order that someday I will be able to support causes, people and communities like

    the ones I have seen.

  • 3

    Some of the kids that I have worked with during my time as a volunteer in communities close to my city

  • 4

    Week 02

    When I saw that Plan was one of the supporters of the challenge of EWB I was particularly excited about

    it. Plan acts in the suburbs around my city supporting children and providing them with sponsors from

    overseas. I used to work for them translating letters from the sponsors for the children and in a reverse

    way too, it was quite an interesting job.

    When I saw the design areas designated for the challenge I wanted to be part of something that could

    approach and connect all the possibilities. It is something that I believe it is possible, especially if I am

    able to make my group work in partnership with the others in the class.

    For now I am inserted in the Infrastructure and Construction group, which I believe is reasonable since I

    want to work in something that can embrace all the areas. My group has not decided exactly what will be

    the direction and project we will develop, we still brainstorming and trying to find something that we all

    support and think about something that will be relevant for the community of Codo in Timor Leste.

  • 5

  • 6

    Week 03

    During this week workshop I was happy to have chosen the group I will be working with until the end of

    the semester and defined our main direction, at the same time I was disappointed with the main group

    who is taking the subject and their idea about the community we will be working with, mostly their

    understanding of the situation that people from Codo live in.

    During our discussion I noticed that people were underestimating the ability of people from the

    community in many aspects. I do understand that they have limited knowledge in many of the things that

    we know, however during the design process I believe we should consider the type of production and

    abilities that they already have and apply in the many things they perform.

    I do not believe the people from Codo are the same as the other destitute communities that I have

    worked with, but what I do believe is that we do have something to learn from the way they live and deal

    with their conditions, and is something that we should widely consider while designing something for


    One part of the workshop I found really interesting was the moment that Graham spoke about the toilet

    and how people deal with this kind of situation when they live in those types of communities where they

    do not have access to sanitation or sewer system as we do. I did know about it because of my previous

    experience in my country, these conditions are not so unusual in the countryside in the region where I

    come from. I travelled with some friends during the holidays and was kind of surprised when them and

    some other tourists among us did not recognize this type of toilet, and were disgusted of the manners

    that people deal with it. The same way it was a shock for my friends and the other tourist to have to face

    that situation, I believe it was a good initiative to expose that fact to the entire group. I also think it was

    not as strong as to make people experience it, but I do believe it will encourage the group to rethink how

    broad our understanding about the community is.

  • 7


    This week we defined that we want to work in the design of a Child Friendly Space using local materials. I

    shared with my group, ASA, this project that I think is just spectacular. This is a school called Nueva

    Esperanza, in a community in Ecuador, it was designed and constructed by Al Borde Arquitectos and

    volunteers from the own community.

  • 8

    Week 04

    This week was really positive for our group. We shared all the information we collected from our

    personal research about Codo community and East Timor. We made a compilation of all the data we

    gathered giving special emphasis for the ones that will be most relevant for our final project, the design

    of a Child Friendly Space for the community.

  • 9

    My personal Reflective Map

    Compilation of the most relevant information collected by the group members.

  • 10

    Week 05

    This week we continued with the research phase, right now focused on our final aim. We divided the research tasks according five categories, so each member was responsible for one: Building Materials (durability, accessibility, cost), Environment (climate, components of area, pests, wildlife), Culture (values, beliefs, religion, demographics), Existing Buildings (locally used materials), Child Friendly Spaces + Plan (designs, organization interests and aims).

    I particularly like the possibility of designing a Child Friendly Space. At this moment I am taking another subject that is focused on pos-disaster situations, is something that I am really interested on studying, and we have had a background about the Cfs`s on it as well.

    Related to the event I think it was important this week, I would like to mention a situation that happened with my previous group members before we split in two groups. We are now five members at ASA group and three members at the other group, however one of the members decided to leave the group because he was interested in other area, what left the other two unable to participate of the challenge by themselves. They tried to find another group, I do not know if they did, but I really liked their attitude towards the entire group of explaining their situation and also in what they were interested in working on, for me that proved that they really believe on what they wish to work with, what also represents a strength for their future design approach.

  • 11

    This link is about a video of the works that Plan develops in Timor Leste related to the youth and the

    children of the communities.

  • 12

    Feedback Session

    During the feedback session about the reflective journal and my overall progress in the subject I was very

    surprised and disappointed. At first my understanding of the reflective journal was that we were free to

    create it in the way we considered best as long as we attended the requirements of the main purpose of

    it, review and reflect about the experiences we were having along this course. Due to it I tried to do

    something that I could keep for me and share with other people after the end of the subject. My option

    was to create a journal based on an online platform this way I could update and share the journal with

    other people that did not have access to the wiki page. I was criticized because of it, mostly because it

    was not requested to do so, however I was told that I could continue with this approach to make my

    reflective journal. The other point was related to the context map, and the way I did it, instead of

    summarizing the most important information collected from the EWB website related to the community,

    I did an overall review of the main aspects that I could conclude after exploring the website. I was advised

    to follow the subject guidelines of exercise instead of trying to reach the same points through different

    and personal approaches. And the last was related to my personal wikipage tha


View more >