Monday, May 24, 2010

The Project

Dear All,

On June 20, 2010, I will be embarking on a 3-4 day endeavor with my mom, stepdad and bestfriend Tonya to climb Mt. Rainier, a 14,410 ft volcano as a means to raise money to attend Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. My plan is to raise the money by July 1st so that I can begin the school year in August with my peers and professors. If I can not raise the money, I will defer and begin in January.

How can you get involved/help? By Dutch law, I need to provide 1 year of tuition plus living expenses (approx. $22K) before I can step foot on Dutch college soil. Unfortunately, Delft notified me a month late of my acceptance, therefore, I missed all the scholarship deadlines. Currently, I am working my butt off to save up, but I won't be able to save enough. I am asking you for any and all help to get me over there. * please keep in mind, while I plan to summit the mountain, it is extremely weather dependent (often white outs, avalanches, extreme winds etc). Alternatively, I will climb Mt. Shasta in northern California should this be the case.

What will you get out of it? I hope to stream video from the climb. If it is not possible, I will be taking photos and I will post a film composed of stills at the end of the climb. I will also post my daily journal. If you donate $75 or more I will send you an 8x10 photo from the climb. You will get to choose which image you want from my expedition. Click here for a sample of my photography.

A little about why school and why Delft

Why go back to school? To fulfill my passion and what I feel is my duty; to improve lives, peferably on a long term or sustainable scale.

How? by using ethnographic research to identify needs and therefore inform the design of everyday objects or systems. On a day-to-day basis we interact with several different items and or systems whether it be the experience of riding a bike (is there a way to enhance vehicle and bike communication?) or help a diabetic take and track blood samples. Without research of people, cultures and communities, I can only make assumptions of what our needs are (the way design has typically been handled). At Delft, I will have the opportunity to partake in one of the only design research programs in the world. I will be able to combine the social sciences (a greater understanding of people through ethnographic studies) with the design of objects to truly influence and improve our everyday interactions and experiences.

Thanks so much in advance for your support!!

* A special thanks to Alex Lee, Andrea Vanecko, Chris Kincade and Mike Delevante for their gleaming words of recommendation that got me into the program.

*Photo in header is my stepdad at Mt. Rainier 8400 ft camp. courtesy of my mom & stepdad (Katherine and Jerald Baillie).