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Designing for a cause

Jul 23, 2019

Designing with social impact and problem solving in mind – this is the motivation behind urban planner and architect Prasoon. 

 
Co-Founder and CEO. Prasoon Kumar, billionBricks.

 

“Design professionals need to understand the impact and implications that their work can have on society. Don’t just search for better pay. Find meaning and fulfilment in what you do.”

Prasoon is an urban planner and architect by profession with over 10 years of experience in design firms across Asia and America. He believes that design encompasses more than aesthetics, and that good design can solve some of today’s most pressing global problems.

He blended his passion with compassion to co-found billionBricks, a non-profit organisation that attempts to eradicate the issue of homelessness by designing scalable and sustainable shelters for the homeless and vulnerable across the globe. billionBricks uses design and technology as its tools to innovate shelter and infrastructure solutions for the homeless and vulnerable. One of its innovations is an insulated tent that can be used as an emergency shelter to save the lives of homeless people during extreme weather conditions.

Prasoon’s belief that good design can save lives was cemented when he witnessed the ordeals of homeless people first-hand, following the aftermath of a devasting earthquake in Nepal in 2015. His company set up 120 tents to shelter some of the homeless families there, and this was where he truly experienced how life-changing a “simple tent” could be to the homeless.

This was further reinforced when he met a homeless woman with a young child who had lived their entire lives on the streets, before they finally made a home out of the tent that they were given. “We can never fully understand how much a small gesture can mean to someone, and this pushes us to do better - to help the millions of people who need these support systems.”

He urges aspiring entrepreneurs to step out and pursue business ventures that are built on their passions. This is especially so with the Skills Framework in place, as professionals can use it as a roadmap towards learning the skills they need, so they can succeed in their ambitions. “I wasted precious years following a fixed academic route to success. This delayed the formation of billionBricks, where I could have helped more homeless people. Don’t worry about money or financial abilities, because that will all fall in place once you follow your passion.”

He believes that innate passion, combined with the direction provided by the Skills Framework, can guide professionals and aspiring creatives towards successful careers and ventures. Prasoon says, “The Skills Framework provides a helpful career map that others can use as a guide for acquiring the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in this line.”

Prasoon also advises up-and-coming professionals to acquire and build the attributes of confidence and business integrity. He says, “Design professionals need to understand the impact and implications that their work can have on society. Don’t just search for better pay. Find meaning and fulfilment in what you do.”

 
 
Prasoon's occupation is a job role that can be found in the Design track of the Skills Framework for Design. For more information on the Framework, please visit: Skills Framework for Design.

 

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