As UNICEF’s Innovation Lab Lead for Indonesia, alumnus Jeffrey Hall has developed a simple standard for his projects: to use design to improve the quality of people’s daily lives. “I collaborate with some amazing people, both in the U.N. and the creative community, to see how innovative approaches can be applied to improving their programs, technology, process or partnerships,” says Hall.
A nontraditional context for your design can force you to grow beyond your own conceptions of what design can do and discover something that matters not just for yourself, but for others.
His current position evolved out of his Media Design Practices (MDP) field research in Uganda with UNICEF’s Global Innovation team. Now his work is centered around three programs: the Global Design for UNICEF Challenge in Indonesia; U-Report Indonesia, a social media polling platform for engaging young people in development; and an emergency kit focused on empowering youth to actively contribute during the country’s frequent emergencies, like urban flooding in Jakarta.
Hall credits MDP with equipping him with the tools to navigate his nontraditional career path. “The MDP field research—in contexts that are uncertain, challenging and confusing—really forces you to learn by doing,” Hall says. “Frankly it’s a lot more comfortable to find a place where you can do design that you’re already skilled at. But a nontraditional context for your design can force you to grow beyond your own conceptions of what design can do and discover something that matters not just for yourself, but for others.”