Situation

Woonstad Rotterdam is one of the largest housing companies in the Netherlands. With over 57.000 homes in the city of Rotterdam, they have a huge influence in the housing climate. Their vision is to adapt housing to the new situation in Rotterdam, which is quickly developing to be a modern city with a lot of cultures and influences. The name WoonStad translates to LivingCity, displaying their message. 

The problem that Woonstad faced was that the clients did not get enough face to face contact. To solve this problem, our team defined the target audience as tenants with a low income living in social housing communities, and above the age of 50.

Tasks

During this project, I was tasked with doing research, generating idea’s and turning these ideas into a workable and presentable concept, partly by prototyping. I was also responsible for the presentations given to Woonstad, including the final exposition. My approach was to help everyone finish their part, while also tending to mine.

Actions

Doing research

During researching I spent time interviewing people on the streets, speaking to multiple employees of Woonstad and doing deskresearch about both the company and the target audience.

The most important thing that I learned during research is that a lot of tenants have to wait a very long time to contact someone at Woonstad, mostly because these people were not fully aware of the responsibilities of Woonstad as a company.

Generating ideas

Together with my team I came up with some fresh ideas to use in the concept. I did this by researching new creative methods that we could use to generate and converge ideas and concepts, based on our research.

One thing that would stand out, is that I found out that especially the older tenants, miss the sense of neighborhood that used to be very common in Rotterdam culture. This would also be one of the cornerstones of our eventual product.

Relaying the message

To deliver our message and our ideas to Woonstad, I built presentations to show Woonstad what we were working on. I was also in charge of building our exposition stand, which was well received by the CEO of Woonstad.

My proudest work was making a movie about our concept. It was my idea to use an original way of delivering our message, instead of using regular storyboards or an Adobe XD prototype. I wrote, directed and edited this movie about Leefstad.

Results

The result of all this, is Leefstad Rotterdam, our solution. Leefstad rougly translates to LivingCity, emphasizing the focus on making the city livable. Leefstad is a community of tenants that can help each other with tasks that are not included in Woonstad’s responsibility. Tasks like fixing a TV, changing a tire or even helping to cook are all problems tenants face, especially tenants that just moved to Rotterdam for the first time. 

Leefstad is created to connect tenants by providing a platform where these tenants can find, and help each other. It is designed to create communities that bring tenants closer, while receiving pressure from Woonstad.

I gave a presentation during an exposition to the CEO of Woonstad, where she and our teachers could experience Leefstad by looking at our flyers, testing our prototype and reading our book of insights, that we had prepared. We put so much effort in the exposition, and this payed off. 

Leefstad was so well received with the client, that we as a group won the first prize in the “Woonstad Experience Challenge”, proving our concept to be one of the best they had seen.