Legit Shrimps
Name of village: can thanh

I was part of the OSIP to Vietnam HCE. For a start I believe that most of the participant’s initial thoughts of joining Lex was to skip the module during curriculum time in school so that have more time for their other project. I myself do have a similar thought as well! Who wouldn’t want to complete a module in 2 weeks comparing to completing a module in 1 semester? Being able to go through the process of design thinking with my new peers allows me to have a wider networking. It allows me to know new peers and lecturers from other courses. Therefore I am able to gain and expand my horizon through this Lex trip.

When we were first introduced to our new peers, I didn’t seems to be able to open up to them. They were all very quiet and didn’t there to speak to other groupmates as well. After a while, they were talking to one another and I seems to feel a bit lost and unsure what to do. Everyone seems to be scared of me and dare not talk to me, i do understand that I have a ‘default black and fierce’ face. I was also afraid that i am unable to adapt to the weather, the food and people. Many thoughts of fears were running through my mind. My greatest fear was that I couldn’t communicate and work well with my group members and thus, couldn’t complete my projects which leads to my GPA. Looking back, those fears and worries isn’t important now.

Before the trip, my group and I attended a 1 day design thinking workshop. To me, having only 1 day of design thinking is a bit too rush. There were lots parts towards design thinking: sense and sensibility, empathy studies, ideation, prototyping and gallery walk. All this tools were covered within a day. It will be good if it is a 3-day design thinking workshop as this will allows us to be more prepared for our Lex trip in Vietnam.

Our project was to aid the villagers in making the dried shrimps. Basically helping them to ideate ideas base on their problems or needs.
Our main purpose there was to apply our designing thinking tools and to make an impact for the villages over at can thanh.

The first step of Design Thinking is sense and sensibility. Sense and sensibility allowed us to experience the daily routine of a dried shrimp producers. We decided to take a stroll there from our hotel so as to understand and sense what the people there are doing and what is their normal routine. My team practiced sense and sensibility through our participation in the various chores that the locals do. As you can see in the picture, one of it was the deshelling process that involves the smashing of the shrimps and another involves manual deshelling with use of a knife. These allowed us to have a first-hand experience of the most tedious part of the production of dried shrimps, which is deshelling. After experiencing all those, I personally experience a post muscle-aching pain on my shoulders and back. It required a huge amount of both strength and endurance. As for the manual deshelling,

The second step of the Design Thinking process is empathy studies - data clustering. So, how did this data clustering come about? With our vietnamese buddies, we divided ourselves into groups of 7, which includes 2 interviewer, 2 notetaker, 2 observer and 1 photographer. After that, we went to interview the villagers who are dried shrimps producers. This was done with the help of our vietnamese buddies, who translated both our questions and the interviewee’s answer into english. Initially, when we conducted interview session with the villagers, they were reluctant to share information about their personal lives and the production of dried shrimp. However, after building rapport with them during the village stay, they were more willing to open up and share more information in the subsequent days when we conducted more interviews. After interviewing the interviewees, we went on to pen down the points that we gained from the interviews on the post-it notes. After doing so, all of us came together to cluster the datas, and with that the categories that we came out with are process with subheadings of production and steps, revenue, family with subheadings of background and environment, manpower and last but not least problems. This allowed us to have a clear view of the understandings that we’ve developed from the villagers of Can Thanh Village.

We started our empathy studies and concluded out that they needed a bigger space for drying shrimps, having a better hygiene in the process of drying of the shrimp, better productivity and most importantly to be able to be dependent on themselves. Both the owner are getting older each day past, the husband couldn’t help anymore due to health problems. Almost all the process were done by the wife where she would not be able to handle it as she ages. She wants to be able to be independent to do all the process by herself despite her age.

With the understandings that we’ve developed about the villagers of Can Thanh Village, we created a persona, as a tool to represent the social and family lifestyle, motivations and aspirations, challenges/pain points and defining quotes of our interviewees. We named our persona Hardworking Hoa as we discovered that the villagers are actually very hardworking. After we created the persona, we identified that Hardworking Hoa faced three major problems which are the inefficiency of washing shrimps, insufficient space for drying and the deshelling process which is too strenuous for Hoa. These then led us to craft the need statement, “As I age, I need methods to improve the production of dried shrimps in a way that is more efficient.”

Need Statement

Instruction Manual of our 3 prototypes!

Moving on to ideation. With the help of the need statement, we were able to consolidate more than 50 ideas as it gave us a clearer view of the areas that needed improvement. After delving deeper into each of the ideas, we classified the ideas according to feasibility and practicality. This allowed us to filter out ideas that are not both desirable and feasible. With all the desirable and feasible ideas, we managed to categorize it into three main category - washing, drying and de-shelling process, where we divided ourselves into three groups, to further improve the ideas. And as you can see on the screen, these are the sketches that was done by each group.

That day, after ideation, we had a short presentation where all of the group got an opportunity to share their ideas with the other groups. As a group, we benefited from the sharing session as we not only are able to give suggestions to other group, we are also able to hear what other people have to say, which assisted us in refining our ideas.

With the ideas in mind, we moved on to prototyping. Staying in the same three groups, we proceed to build our respective prototypes - the shrimp strainer, the shrimp flyer and the shrimp smasher, which are the solutions to Hardworking Hoa’s problems.

Our idea on replacing the process

The first prototype that my team has created is the shrimp strainer. During our design thinking process, we found out that when Hardworking Hoa’s suppliers delivered fresh shrimps to her, the basket of fresh shrimps comes with residues of different sizes. Upon receiving the basket of fresh shrimps, Hardworking Hoa would wash it immediately. However, we realised that during the washing process, majority of the residues are not being removed. As such, we created the Shrimp Strainer, in hope to help solve this problem. The purpose of this Shrimp Strainer is to separate the shrimps from the residues. To achieve that, our prototype was designed in the way that it consist of three layer of trays with different filter size, which are arranged in descending order. So how does the Shrimp Strainer works? With just five simple steps, Hardworking Hoa would be able to extract the residues out. Step 1, Pour the basket of fresh shrimps into the shrimp strainer. Step 2, Pour water into the shrimp strainer. Step 3, Shake the shrimp strainer so as to separate the shrimps from residues. Step 4, Step on the water pump to ‘recycle’ the water. Lastly, detach the shrimp strainer and pour it out respectively.

Our idea on replacing the process
Moving on to our second prototype, the Shrimp Flyer. During our village visit, we understand that during the shrimp drying process, Hardworking Hoa would have to sweep the shrimps which was laid on the road, every 1-2 hours. The purpose of this action is ensure that both sides of the shrimps are being dried. Adding on, it also allows larger production at a time. Last but not least, by placing those shrimp onto the group, it will introduce unwanted pests, particles, animals walking around and even vehicles roaming around on the road. To resolve this problem, we created the Shrimp Flyer. This Shrimp Flyer consist of 6 big cages which would be use to fill fresh shrimps. With these cages, it helps to reduce contaminations that comes from the sweeping of the shrimps. On top of this, our prototype was designed in the way that it is similar to the concept of the Singapore Flyer. This means it is rotatable. With this technology, Hardworking Hoa would just have to turn the flyer manually and lock it at a certain position where the sunlight is at its maximum. Also, the wheels present on the shrimp flyer allows the relocation of the flyer to shelters when it rains.

Our idea on replacing the process
The last prototype that my team have created is the Shrimp Bouncer. As you can see, the deshelling - smashing part requires a large amount of strength, which is difficult for Hardworking Hoa to carry out this task since she’s already reaching her 60s. As such, she had to hire workers to smash the dried shrimps. Hence, to reduce both Hardworking Hoa’s workload and expenses, we came up with the shrimp bouncer which was inspired by the spring baby cot idea. So how does this Shrimp Bouncer work? With the bag of shrimps attached to the spring, Hoa would just have to bounce the bag continuously to de-shell the shrimps.
During co-creation, the interviewee was willing to listen and give feedback for improvement.
An example that I would share would be that Mr Six requested that we place the wheels on the shrimp flyer instead of the shrimp bouncer as he felt that by doing so, it would be easier for them to move it around.

Finally, we displayed all our three prototypes in HCE for the principal and students to view our work. We feel that the gallery walk is a platform for people to access the feasibility and workability of our prototypes. Through this process, we gained constructive feedbacks. We each took turns to explain and demonstrate how the prototypes will function with the help of our Vietnamese buddies.

During the Co-creation day!

Day at Museum!
Glad that I sign up for this, never regret. Make lots of friends even outside of my group members. Learnt to apply the design thinking to the real society.

Before going to the trip my impression was very different as I thought that I will be very hard to open up and communicate with others not even thinking about opening up to other group members. I get to bond outside of my group. It is a very amazing and cherishing 14 days moment and I believe that we will still stay in contact despite coming back to Singapore!

The whole entire 3 teams!

Written by: Rachel Yap (DBIT/FT/2B/22)