30 Nov 2008

Be a Friend ... The Branding Icon

I chose Red, because it's Grand, Strong and Warm, and that's what makes a good Friend.This final icon is driven from the first one, if illustrating expressions gives them a funny look, then a profile is more grand.

29 Nov 2008

Creating the Logo

This is my 1st attempt to tern words ( Be a Friend ) into an icon, the elders of our community, cumming together around a hot drink, to enjoy each others company.
the feed back I got from my Course leader, is that it represents children, not the elders, who are the Target of this service.So, I will carry on, searching for the right icon

25 Nov 2008

Be a Friend ... The convenience, Benefits and logistics

* It costs ( £25 ) only, per month, per elder.
* No need to rent, bay or build new premises for this new service.
* The premises where the gathering takes place is already there in every village, town and city .... The local Caf'e.
* It's furnished, lit and heated.
* Every body in town know the location and no need to travel far to reach.
* The gathering happens in midday, accessible to every one.
* Yong people run the caf'e, can give a lending hand to the elderly when needed.
* The caf'e is still open to other age groups, which will contribute to bridging the gap of age in society.
* all local caf'es are included, getting the benefit of serving regular costumers at a part of the day that was usually quiet.

The logistics

How to make this service practical ? !!
* Instead of vouchers, it's a visit credit card, like an oyster card.
* An electronic device that identifies the card is supplied by the Borough Council to all caffes.
through this method, if the elders looses the card, they did not loose the credit, it's preserved in the data system, the card can be replaced.
* The credit of one visit a week is transferable, if the elders forgets to come this week, they can come in next week with a younger friend or family, it's all about a more active social life.
* the restriction of one credit cash in is only on the first Monday, to make sure that the elder makes a weekly outing, only if they forget this week, they can invite another next week.
* The credit is not transferable from one month to another, this whey we can save the government some money.
* Every year,through the post, every elder will receive a calender with promoting reminders all year:
- the general color is red, that will always catch the eye
- Every Monday is labeled with the Be a Friend logo
- Every month displays active tempting caffee life for the elders
- Photographs of different caffee entrances with the Be a Friend logo, with the slogan : Just look for the sign and you'll know where to go, for the elders to identify the meaning.
* Some times there are ( 5 ) Mondays in one month, this might happen twice a year, so that's an extra ( 12 ) pounds a year per elder.

24 Nov 2008

Be a Friend

Investing in a preventative solution

The solution I'm suggesting to address loneliness, as part of the RSA ( Action for Age ) project:
Be a Friend, is a social service that contributes to relieving the elderly of loneliness and it's side effects towards a healthier life style. By providing a weekly free of charge visit, to an afternoon ( 2 - 4 pm ) gathering, where every elder individual ( those who are 50 years of age and above ) is invited to enjoy the privilege to request a hot drink accompanied by something to eat, for the value of ( six Pounds ), supported by a visit credit card, that covers this value, issued by the government, ( the Borough Council ).
This gathering will take place at one of the most visited friendly environments in every neighborhood .... The Local Caffe.
This privilege is national, involving every local caffe at a unified date and time, the funding budget for this service is part of the health budget dedicated to the aged, for it's contribution in maintaining better health : Loneliness leads to Depression, which weakens the immune system, leaving the person vulnerable to countless illness attacks in type and frequency.
By providing this therapeutic service, that takes the form of a social activity, it will translated into : Less loneliness, less fiscal and mental health deterioration driven from depression, consequently decreasing the strain of costly health care consumed by the aged, by investing in a preventative solution.

18 Nov 2008

The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes

I was so fascinated by Alan Aldridge's work, I had to by the book, no matter how close and long I looked, it wasn't enough.
I loved the fiery storey drawings, they remind me of the good old days, when I look at similar images while listening to a bed time story, unfortunately the image I liked most was not in the book, it was of a Forrest, if you take a step back you will be able to see the impression of a face formed by all the forest details.

His dark work is a magnet, you just can't walk away without taking a good long look

I also like this tower that appears as part of the album cover illustrated especially for Elton John's Fantastic LP, using the different curves of the guitar instrument, to build an architectural form, creating from which, parts of the tower that are familiar to our eye in any building, in such a whey, that you can't help but say, Alan Aldridge earned the name he made for him self

At the V&A's cold war exhibition, what attracted my attention was a chair design : taking the shape of the latter ( P ), with it's stem horizontally down the whey, and the curve of the ( P ) not locked, to be covered withe a leather belt to complete the design, it was based on a part of the car engine, by re assigning the function of this shape and belt, and creating a modern furniture design.
I found this very inspiring , in teaching us to look at whats around us in a different whey, and by re assigning the functions , we as designers, create new solutions

13 Nov 2008

starbucks donation activities

I approached Starbucks caffe in harrow town center last Wednesday, and
had quite an informative conversation with Branch Manager Miss
Katerina, who tolled me that Starbucks has on several occasions
donated time, space and merchandise to charity activities that where
helled in collaborated with this branch, such as schools, hospitals
and MIND for better mental health.
This will benefit my suggestion of a weekly town caffe gathering for
the elderly when it comes to funding solutions


Hi ....
Just wanted to share with you all ....
This is what I see every day from my bedroom window ...
It reminds me every day that Life is meant to be beautiful, it's our choices that add to it, or take away from it ..
Have A Nice Day


11 Nov 2008

100 words are not enough

Only the lonely ............
Will not include the elderly anymore

By choosing to be dedicated to the RSA project ( Action for age ), regarding the elderly social issues which have led a considerable chunk of our community towards isolation, loneliness ( with little contact, interest and knowledge of their outer world ), that it has become a national priority ( at least in the future thinking levels of command ).
It became my mission the past several weeks, to seek detailed related information, data and facts through discussion with concerned and involved channels, adding to interviewing the elderly in person as groups and individuals.
I find myself interested in making a difference in the lives of the elderly , ( although those who are in their 50s have objected to being categorised as such, in the U.K, it's official that all those who are 50 years of age and on, are eligible to clime benefits designed for the aged ).
My root of interest, is finding a solution that meets the aged personal constant need to ( meeting friendly people of similar interests on regular biases, who will ... with time, become friendly faces with the possibility of developing new friendships, in a manner that is not costly or hard to reach and maintain.
On an official level, it's a little more complex, the elderly are sponsored by the government, taking the responsibility of meeting the more persisting needs : health, security and safety.
consequently the funding of social events has been compromised, leaving it up to charity organizations to arrange and carry out.
The final out come to this situation : the inability to fund constant events on regular bases, scattered activities here and there every now and then, not well promoted to the target audience, leading to lack of knowledge and reliability, low attendance rate ... the elderly are still lonely, being more vulnerable to psychological ( depression ) related health deterioration.
The solution I'd like to suggest ... addresses the growing effects and side effects of loneliness, that are observed on the elderly .. a chunk of our community that is growing in number as WE grow older.
ON A NATIONAL LEVEL .. all over the UK, a service is introduced, a coffee house chain or two, that are identified as a familiar place to meet in every hometown, commit to holding a 2 hour twice a week afternoon friendly gathering for the elderly, not more than twice a week, to increase the chance that the same people come in at the same time, a frequent attendance that will turn strange faces to familiar ones, incurring friendly attempts to come closer , engage in conversation, similar interests will make them look forward to next time, time after time, friendships will develop, having a more active social life, the elderly are no longer lonely.
my rough sketch ... pictures the gathering being ... held between ( 2 - 4 ) p.m every Monday and Thursday at the town caffee.
Promoting this new service starts with a focus campaign, through the media on a national level, and on a local level, at the coffee house, there will be posters and reminding flyers handed out, adding to the event being mentioned regularly in publications that are devoted to the elderly on monthly bases that are already in the government system of communication.
other ideas can be developed as the need for them is evident.

5 Nov 2008

Mr. Johhn Shanker

I met Mr. John Shanker quality manager for the elderly community housing care at the Mahatma Ghandy house , a Brent Council division.
Mr. Shanker was very jeneros in going into deep details of all the problems and disadvantages that lead to the elderly being lonely:
* Week Family relations
* common Family structure
* Continuity of life style
* Socially people do not open up to others
* Migrating minorities are not custom to white culture, therefor do not respond when a white culture activity is advertised, such as ( ball dancing )
* Migrating minorities have difficulty in learning a new language, they end up communicating with family members and own community only, in many cases are not available in the same neighborhood.
Some of the disadvantages that add to the growing problem of old age loneliness, lack of funds leads to, the social life of an elderly being last on the list of Borough councils priorities.
Leaving it up to charity organisations and the occasional free service providers, to arrange a social activity designed for the elderly every now and then, concentrating on annual festival season.

upon which I Base my new solutions mapping them out below

I mapped out on several drafts all the obstacles that lead to the elderly being lonely. and opposite each problem I'm proposing a solution.
My final conclusions are as follows:
The elderly are sponsored by the government in all their needs, therefor the Borough Council ( which represents the government in every community ), is a meager player in any solution that targets the aged, it provides authority, reliability and constancy to any solution.
The borough council's funding budget is invested in supplying the aged with their basic important needs : safety, security and health, social activities are not considered a priority, the organization of such, are left to charity organizations, the result is they are in consistent and scattered in frequency.
Promoting the events, happens through the Borough channels of communication :
* On the web sit : most of the elderly are not Internet friendly.
* Mentioned in the Borough publications, they appear as a hint in small print amongst many subjects on a page, often missed by a short sited elderly.
* Flyers reaching the homes of the elderly, again, the promoted event is in small print, embedded in a poorly designed template that fail to attract the attention of the target audience .. and remain in the short term memory of (The Elderly ).
* Locally advertised on location ( where the event will be held, on a future date ), A4 paper size posters, in small print and too much information on a small layout.

which has largely contributed to the fact that these activities are as good as non, the evidence that backs up this conclusion, the low attendance rate that has been reported by the local organizers, for there is no record of such in the Borough Data Base, for it's un-importance.

I also mentioned to Mr. Shanker my findings through meeting with the elderly on several occasions that, they are old, not disabled, they would like to go some where to do something and not just be entertained, going back to the work force is not a bad idea, voluntary work is another thing to consider.


INVEST ... as described in the Oxford Dictionary, spend money, time or effort on something that will be useful, confer a rank, office or power upon ( a person ), endow with a quality.
And that's what I'm suggesting to the sponsors in our community .....
INVEST ... In :
* Increasing the number of social workers in every Borough Council.
To decrease the load of responsibility on each worker which will enhance the quality of their performance by giving more time for each elderly case.
The social worker will closely scan all the elderly who fall under their authority to fined common interests, to bring them together in small group gatherings that will be organised amongst them self's, with the constant observation of the social worker to resolve any obstacles that may appear.
Some of those elderly are more able than others, by encouraging the able to take notice and show care for the disabled, we are encouraging voluntary work by those who are of similar circumstances.
* Scholarships to encourage social studies.
Inorder to increase the interest and awareness of the importance of fine tuning our community.
Part of the grant Ground rules, is to commit to serving the community for double the course length period, by this there will always be enough social workers serving the system.
* Create a unified short term promotion template, that assigns one color of the rainbow to each day of the week.
This template will advertise an event only one week in advance, will take different layout : posters, flyer's, vouchers, what ever is needed, and will contain : the event, it's location, date and time.
This template will be used by all who want to advertise an event involving the elderly, Borough Council divisions and 3rd party charity organizations.
This method will aid the alder's lack of knowledge, short site and short term memory.
By knowing about an event one week ahead, and remembering the day ( through the template color ) on weekly bases.
* collaborating with 3rd party organisers and service providers, such as:
- caf'es
- Hair dressers and barbers
- air lines
- restaurants
- department store and supermarkets
By partially funding an event or service, the Borough Council can oblige the ( organiser/ service provider ) :
- to commit to providing the event or service for at least 6 months, which will build a bridge of reliability.
- to commit to using the promotion template mentioned above.
All the mentioned above is designed to help the elderly in remembering the events and services that are created to improve their social life and have healthier ageing years.