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.
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.
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. Methods used were ‘brainwriting’, ‘association mind mapping’ and a ‘longlist-shortlist’.
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.
To test if our concept would align with the needs and wishes of the user, we took it to the streets to find out. We worked on two different prototypes, a storyboard and and short movie. I wrote the script, directed and edited the movie. It was not a masterpiece, but it got the job done.
The concept truck with our target audience, and we knew that we were on the right track. Making the movie was special for me, as I had to learn skills like editing in a very short amount of time.
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.
Leefstad was so well received with the client, that we as a group won the first prize in the “Woonstad Experience Challenge”