Proximity Designs

In the summer of 2015, I traveled to Myanmar to work for the social enterprise Proximity Designs. Over the summer I worked to develop their Stories of Change platform and participated in a joint R&D project for their Betel Meter product, including conducting design research into the future of sensor technology.

Future Sense is a project in collaboration between and Proximity Designs. During this fellowship, I joined the research team when testing was handed to Proximity. They were in the second phase of testing various prototypes on farmers in Myanmar and I helped to oversee the technical aspects during the second deployment of the Betel Meter which was designed to measure the moisture of soil on betel farms using low-cost tech for a greater impact applied to agriculture in developing countries. I participated in field research in Shwe Bo with Betel Farmers along with the other team members to evaluate water usage.

We also organized a workshop that lasted for 2 days to teach the Proximity staff about sensor technology, hardware and an introduction to the Internet of Things. This was open to all departments that were curious to learn and was folded into the overall bigger picture of the development of Future Sense. I spearheaded the workshop along with the other team members. The day was organized into a lecture on various sensors and microprocessors leading into a demo. Afterwards my team set up the plug-and-play modules and organized the room into teams to plug in each sensor. The workshop ended by giving the teams a brief to design something productive for the office or in the field, which was more to get people thinking about design and rapid prototyping.