Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Desirability- Viability- Feasibility

As we move into the problem-solving phase of Challenge 20/20, we took some time to review the topics we have studied to date and how we can use "design thinking" to create scalable, real world solutions.

We watched Tim Brown's TED Talk on the elements and history of design thinking 

With this in mind, watch Boyan Slat's TED Talk about his approach to the problem of plastic pollution in the Pacific.  

Given the elements of design thinking, please comment below about the desirability, viability, and feasibility of this project.  Where is is successful?  Where does it need improvement, and how can we learn from his example?


  1. Many people in the world have tried to look for a solution of the maritime safety and pollution, a very sensitive topic that highly affects our daily life. I believe the solution the 19 years old suggested and is now working on has a very effective plan and meets the conditions of successful design thinking.
    According to his explanations, his invention is feasible with various tries he has done by which he made improvements and experiments, and researches on his invention. It shows that he have put time and work on his project to make it a successful one. The product is also viable and desirable: as I watched the video about his invention, he clearly explained its function, how it works, and how it solves all the problems about the previous products. It would be desirable for many people: some who work on a more specific topic about pollution (renewable energies) would appreciate the idea of using the positive sources of energy for the product, many people involved in maritime safety would start to think about the teenager’s solution and discuss about it, people who support endangered animals, and it would eventually be desirable or at least arguable for the whole world with the interest on saving the marine life and ending the pollution.
    One thing that I believe it is probably not accurate is the time he needs to clean all the oceans of the whole world: 5 years. There is a long process of getting sources of help and support from others, the time to refine, create, and construct the product, trying it various times and experiment on it if it is truly feasible and viable, and broadcasting it to the whole world. Besides the time accuracy, the 19 years old’s invention is feasible, viable, and desirable.

  2. Although I think his idea is a wonderful one, I don't think it is very feasible. It would be possible to build, but where he would build the project before putting it in the water, and whom would build the project is an issue, as something like this hasn't been done before, and it seems like there are still kinks to work out in the plan. For example, this only solves the problem of taking the plastic out of the ocean, not what to do with it afterwards. The project is certainly desirable for renewable energy enthusiasts, but are enough people interested that they would they have the funds to support it? Or, would different countries fund it and then continue to maintain it? His project is most likely viable with the right funding, but so far he does not have a prototype to prove it. I like his enthusiasm for his goal of cleaning out the ocean in 5 years, but it is a little naive to think you can clean a mess that large without knowing how your product actually works. After starting it, he may find that it is simply not possible to put his product in certain areas of the ocean, and so on. The invention is not feasible, desirable to certain groups, and, until a prototype is made, the viability is unknown. We can learn from this that although it is good to think big, and outside the box, practicality is still important.

  3. Boyan Slat's solution to the trash and pollution in the ocean is a brilliant one and, in my opinion, the best. It is truly inspiring to see humans working with the ocean instead of against it in order to solve this challenging issue. His idea is ingenious, not only because of how easily it cleans the ocean, but also because it is a perfect design thinking.
    To the majority of the world's population, this is a very desirable option because of its relative simplicity and the fact that it is profitable. Not everyone cares about the ocean, but many care about a dollar sign. Slat's idea is a perfect solution because it entices all sorts of supporters. It is viable because Slat has a plan. He knows exactly how he is will be able to put his plan into action, and everything he said during the TED Talk makes sense. Lastly, the feasibility of Slat's idea is extremely high. It is exceedingly simple, and it seems that almost every detail has been accounted for. I see no issues with Slat's solution, except for the fact that so little people know about it. It is an amazing idea, and I hope it gets utilized.

  4. I think that this 19 years old's project is desirable, viable, as well as feasible. His plans are extraordinarily detailed, making assumptions and taking out all the threats to his plan. He attempted to clean the ocean, which is a comparabily large thing to clean. There had been measure of thousands tons of plastic and to millions of tons of plastic. It is to some extent hard to know where to start. This inventor invented what he calls a multilevel trawl, which diverts rather than catches the plastic of the ocean. He planned that in the next decade or so, this project will be applied.
    I personally think that this is a very scalable while effective way of saving the oceans, for it is financially economical and does not require too much human resources. Therefore, this is a successful plan in solving Maritime safety and pollution.


Please share your ideas about our topic: Education for All.

Ideas on this blog are the opinion of the persons posting and do not necessarily reflect those of Fay School, Saigon South International School, or NAIS.