You said the board team was very diverse, what did you bring as a designer?
Of course, I created the website with my brother. There were several things I could start quickly such as all the communication for the fundraising: flyers, posters, dossiers, …
The logo was created by a helper. It is a representation of OHF diversity. I worked on it to make it more professional. Communication can’t be too chaotic; it must follow certain standards, especially for fundraising.
Otherwise, I didn’t bring something like a “design package”. It was always a collaboration with a team of people. I like to start new things and do stuff. See if it works well and if not, change it or do something else. I really like this flexibility. I brought ideas.
It sounds like an iterative process or an agile method. Is that something you see a lot on the humanitarian sector?
If you plan something well for a long period of time and then you do it properly. Maybe it works but maybe not… and then you waisted a lot of time doing the planning.
This island is crazy, things change every day. It doesn’t make sense to have a long planning process because half a year later, everything is already different. So, in this chaos, it’s better to do something and adapt based on the skills and context. It’s easier to get something done. And it’s not that much of a fuck up if it doesn’t work out, because you haven’t lost half a year to plan it. I mean with this new context I don’t know.
Note: The interview was conducted on 15th of September 2020. A few days earlier, a fire completely burnt down Moria camp, letting 13.000 people on the street.
Can you tell me more about your life balance back in Switzerland?
The company I’m working for is really supportive. So, I work 3 days a week for them. Thursday and Friday are OHF time. I wanted to keep my Sundays off, but it didn’t work out so well. We often have meetings with board members on Sunday and extra work in the evenings. I like to do stuff so it’s okay. I’m getting nervous if I have nothing to do.
Now is also the time to prepare for Christmas fundraising. That’s when we get most of our support. People give a lot of money before Christmas, but we always have to give something back, as a present, so there is always a ton of things to do. It’s a project I took over. I designed Safe-Passage socks. Now we are importing olive oil from Lesvos. We have a market stand and an online shop. So, from October to December, my main task is to send socks to the whole world, my room is full of boxes. It’s also a way to talk about OHF and what we are doing on the island but clearly, there is not such a thing as a work-life balance during this period.