Spotlight: Oscar Garcia Winner’s Story

Over the past month or so we have been sharing stories behind some of the winning projects from the 2017 Creative Conscience Awards. Up next is Oscar Garcia, awarded bronze in the Product & Structural Design category.

Towards the end of design school, students had to select a project and/or problem to redesign and reimagine. I wanted to steer away from the typical design projects and find a problem that has never been approached from a design perspective; I also wanted to challenge myself and utilise the skillsets I have been honing these past years to work on a meaningful project.

One of the biggest problems healthcare workers were having back in 2014 was the Ebola outbreak, since they did not have the correct protection equipment to minimise the spread of illnesses. That was what inspired me to look into this topic. This project is a redesign to PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) worn by nurses. Nurses would use this equipment when assisting patients with illnesses that can spread via direct contact from one person to another.

My research process involved shadowing nurses working in personal protection equipment, which included putting on and removing the suits. As well as interviewing certain staff personnel about their health concerns and current hospital regulations.

I didn’t know much about Creative Conscience before I entered, but I was encouraged to enter by a friend who knew about my passions and noticed how they aligned with the competition. I was happy and surprised to win an award. Since then I have gained numerous opportunities on different platforms to talk to a wider audience about my winning projects and my further passions.

My Creative Conscience experience has been great. Although I wasn’t able to make it to the awards ceremony, it has been exciting to become part of a community that shares my passion to inspire and encourage people to create with a purpose. I have been encouraging others to enter the awards in the future, and have encouraged my professors at Columbus College of Art and Design to do the same.

I have been really fortunate to have a lot of support along my journey. One piece of advice I would love to pass along to everyone, especially to young creatives, is to stay ‘hungry’ in terms of knowledge. Never stop seeking more information; every experience in your life should become your inspiration. Utilise your individuality to showcase how you solve problems.