Last Weeks Progress & The Awareness Plan


After this past week we feel confident in our purpose and sure of what’s required from all of us. While creating our storyboard, this purpose only became clearer. Sitting down together and planning out what our video should look like, slide by slide, really facilitated our further understanding of the task at hand… gaining awareness.

Throughout this whole process Julie has made it very clear to us that funding is her biggest concern. In our first Skype call she mentioned that most previous donations have come from individuals, and she’s looking for support from larger organizations. As a group we decided to attack this problem from a broader perspective. In our opinion Constru Casa would benefit more in the long run from having a larger following than simply more funds. We aim to help Constru Casa promote and attract attention to their cause.

The first step to attracting more public attention is a better newsletter. Marie and I agreed to work together on this as we feel it resonates well with our personal skill sets, and soon after beginning this proved to be correct. A quick Google search on effective newsletters and we already had some ideas. We found out that pictures capture nearly twice the viewers as headlines do, and that most humans have a rather low attention span. We were also surprised to read about how extensively color can influences ones perception and emotion regarding a topic. Unfortunately Constru Casa’s current newsletter is dense in text and not incredibly pleasing to the eye, but this can be fixed.

The second part of our awareness plan is to create a booklet that can be used as a pitch to possible sponsor organizations. This brochure will have information about both Guatemala and Constru Casa, and will be tailored to a more professional audience. Like in the newsletter, the brochure will also be very methodically organized and colored. This is where quality and concise information will prove most pivotal. Hopefully the booklet will encourage legitimate sponsors to help and donate to the cause.


In our opinion even the most finite details have the potential to make a significant difference. We’ll also be supplementing this plan with some crowdfunding websites such as and These are fairly easy to use and can be extremely successful. Boy does it feels great to have a clear objective!


Last Week In One Picture


For this assignment I did a creative piece by drawing our groups new focus in an abstract way. In the foreground is a dilapidated house under reconstruction by Constru Casa, hence the preferred u-blocks stacked in the bottom middle. While working I paid close attention to color scheme and layout. The mountains are a purple and green to portray feelings of empathy, and the house was done with warmer colors to draw attention and signify distress. Lastly, both the city and village distant in the mountains both symbolize a larger audience for Contsru Casa.

The Documentarian


UntitledMy name is Oliver Gray and I’m an Industrial Design Engineering student at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. I’m also and a proud member of “The Ducks”, an international and student-run design team. We currently aim to assist ConstruCasa, a non-profit organization whose goal is to help provide housing for impoverished people in Guatemala. I am in charge of documentation, and will be writing blog posts, recording Skype calls with ConstruCasa, and photographing various parts of the process.

About myself: I was raised in the United States, but my father was born in Romania. My earliest memories are of a small town that would seem like the middle of the woods to most. Redding, Connecticut, where deer out number people and the only commercial business is one, tinny, mom-and-pop breakfast restaurant. My upbringings here definitely attributed to my intense love of travel, a pivotal factor in my decision study in The Netherlands.

While not skateboarding to university in order to complete a task with “The Ducks”, most of my time is consumed by creative oriented hobbies. I’ve always had a passion for music, and spend a great deal of time playing guitar. My slightly worn acoustic is actually sitting next to me as I write this. Something about the feel of the neck usually helps with writers block, so it’s common for me to take guitar-playing breaks while studying. It’s also common for me to spend hours drawing, another extremely relaxing and rewarding activity.

qu4h0As for my super power, I would say it is pure luck. I always seem to stumble into the greatest situations. In fact, I’m enjoying the benefits of this super power right now, because I can legitimately see the North Sea. The apartment I randomly selected has a breathtaking view of The Hague 🙂.