The Human Centered Design Podcast with Gerry Scullion

'Catalina Bonavia: Transforming Lives - Designing a Health-Enhancing Toilet in Argentina'

John Carter
November 15, 2023
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'Catalina Bonavia: Transforming Lives - Designing a Health-Enhancing Toilet in Argentina'

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Fast-track your career with our 12-week training programme:

In this eye opening episode, we meet Catalina Bonavia, known to friends as Cata, who is Head of Service Design for Originally from Argentina, now living in Melbourne, Catalina has worked on some very interesting projects as an industrial designer, not least a remarkable health-enhancing toilet design for a family in Argentina, which quite literally has changed people's lives.

Join us for a fascinating chat, not only about toilets, but about the incredible work Catalina does.

Episode Transcript

This transcript was created using the awesome, Descript. It may contain minor errors.
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[00:00:00] Gerry Scullion: Hey folks,and welcome to another episode of This Is Saight CD. My name is Gerry Scullion.I'm a service designer, I'm an educator, and I'm a design coach based in thewonderful city, and a very sunny city today, and that is Dublin, Ireland. Nowwe are edging so close to our millionth download, and it's... All down to you,folks.


[00:00:27] Gerry Scullion: So thank youfor listening, for sharing and supporting the work that we have done since 2017here at This Is HCD. Now, if you want to go one step further, we would love itif you became a premium subscriber of This Is HCD. You can do so by visitingthisishcd. com and all the money goes Back to the network where we can reinvestit into building out more meaningful experiences, improving the website, andalso developing things out like Change Space, which is a private community thatis open for people to apply to.


[00:00:58] Gerry Scullion: [00:01:00] Now, today in the show we have Catalina Bonavia, who is thehead of service au in Melbourne, Australia. Now, weconnected earlier this year to chat about some of the work that Catalina doesin her role. as the Head of Service Design, but we really focus mostly on aremarkable project that is a few years old now, and that is a toilet redesign,or a toilet design should I say, for a family in Argentina that quite literallychanged people's lives.


[00:01:30] Gerry Scullion: Isn't this areally good one? I'll stop talking, so let's jump straight in.


[00:01:34] Gerry Scullion: Catalina,I'm delighted to have you on the show. We were just catching up a little bitmore around your background and where you're from and stuff, but maybe for ourlisteners, it's probably a good place to start. Start off by telling us alittle bit about yourself, where you're from and what you do.


[00:01:49] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah,awesome. Thank you, Gary, for having me here today. So a little about mybackground, I was born in Argentina and lived there for [00:02:00] most of mylife until 2018. I decided to move to Australia where I currently live. I


[00:02:07] Gerry Scullion: Whereaboutsin Australia?


[00:02:09] Catalina Bonavia: I'm inMelbourne, based in Melbourne.


[00:02:11] Gerry Scullion: Oh, bestcity in all of Australia. Only


[00:02:15] Gerry Scullion: Friends arelaughing and all my Melbourne friends are putting their fists up. Now.Melbourne is equally tied with Sydney.


[00:02:21] Catalina Bonavia: Yes,


[00:02:22] Gerry Scullion: in Australiafor a couple of years and I had an email a couple of months ago from a memberof your team.


[00:02:28] Gerry Scullion: PAul is hisname, and he was telling me all about you. And I was like, without hesitation,I was like, yeah, I'd love to speak to Catalina. Catalina sounds great.Catalina, is it Catalina or Cata? What do you prefer?


[00:02:41] Catalina Bonavia: uSuallyCata, but people in Australia really struggle with Cata, so I go with Catalinaand then once they are used to it, we go with Cata. They


[00:02:49] Gerry Scullion: Usually theAussies like the shortens.


[00:02:52] Catalina Bonavia: Yes, theydo,


[00:02:52] Gerry Scullion: your not?


[00:02:53] Catalina Bonavia: I thinkthey need to understand where it comes from and then they can shorten


[00:02:57] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, youmight be called Cato. [00:03:00] Cato, like, you know, that's... Yeah, well,Catalina, it is so, but we were chatting before around your background inindustrial design, and you studied in the University of Buenos Aires, and youwere working on a project that really piqued my interest around a toilet, andI'd love to learn a little bit more around how this project came about.


[00:03:26] Gerry Scullion: So tell us alittle bit about it if you can.


[00:03:29] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah, ofcourse. Yes. It's back in the days when I was actually doing this project, butit's really marked my career and my, uh, way forward. So, it was a startup andwe were looking to solve problems for people with very low income in Argentina.At that point, 30 percent of the people in Argentina were considered very lowincome and that meant that they didn't have a proper housing conditions.


[00:03:54] Catalina Bonavia: Sothey're, in most cases, they didn't have a toilet or they were sharing a toiletwith someone else in the [00:04:00] same land. So it's very normal that theywill build a house in the backyard of their parents house and use the bathroomof the main house.


[00:04:10] Gerry Scullion: I wouldnever have thought that. Like, you know, when I was researching for theepisode, I looked into some of the, you know, the history of of Argentina. It'sreally interesting to think that's still the case. 30 percent is quite a largenumber


[00:04:26] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah, I


[00:04:26] Gerry Scullion: a lower


[00:04:27] Catalina Bonavia: Now it'shigher than that.


[00:04:30] Gerry Scullion: really. Sowhat's driving that? Like, you know, Is that across the board in all areas inArgentina, or is it focused mainly in the rural areas?


[00:04:41] Catalina Bonavia: No, it'smainly non rural areas, like it's actually closer to the city, yes. Yeah. WhenI was working, this was Buenos Aires, yeah, and you have very you have peoplethat have a lot of money living beside people that have no money.


[00:04:59] Gerry Scullion: [00:05:00]Wow. Okay. That's, this is really eye opening for me. Like, so, tell us, wereyou hired by a government authority or how did this come about? Like, you know,cause you'd finished in 2014 doing industrial design a fellow industrialdesigner like myself tell us about the kind of the origins of the project,


[00:05:18] Catalina Bonavia: No, theproject was a private project.


[00:05:21] Gerry Scullion: driverproject.


[00:05:22] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah,there were two people that wanted to start a startup B Corp. So they didn'twant to do a not for profit, they wanted to do a B Corp and try to make itsustainable. And they hired me as the industrial designer for the initial sideof the project.


[00:05:40] Catalina Bonavia: Where wewere doing mainly research, going into people's houses, having coffee with them,or mate, as we have in Argentina. And understanding about their situation,their needs, their ways of thinking mainly, like where they were spending themoney and how they made the decisions.[00:06:00] And then I would go back homeand design a couple of prototypes very quickly.


[00:06:06] Catalina Bonavia: And paperprototypes go back the next day and get more feedback from them and they willsay like, no, this is crap, or yes, we want this and so on. And that's, thatwas the main, the first three months of the project.


[00:06:21] Gerry Scullion: Well, it's,it is crazy. So you mentioned there about the land prices and building hbuilding a house at the back of another house and using the main housesfacilities for the toilet. Were there other cases where you'd seen, um, kind ofother sort of scenarios of how people were using the toilets in Buenos Aires,or was that the most common one?


[00:06:47] Catalina Bonavia: tHat wasthe most common one. Then there were others that were Also building their toilets,but they weren't hygienic, let's say, they weren't what we would want a toiletto be.


[00:06:58] Gerry Scullion: for purpose.[00:07:00] So, without getting too into the nitty gritty of the ones and thetwos, what was happening if they didn't have a toilet? Like, you know, was thesewage What was happening to that? Like, you know, were they able to, if theydidn't have a main house to work from? That sounds like it's the best of theworst case.


[00:07:20] Catalina Bonavia: theyusually would have, they usually would have a main house to go to.


[00:07:26] Gerry Scullion: say? Okay.


[00:07:26] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah, soit's. Pretty normal that they had built that main house in the 60s and keepbuilding it and growing that house. And then when some of the family of thekids of the family got married, they built a room or two in the back.


[00:07:44] Gerry Scullion: Sure. Are weokay to talk about the names of the people in the project? Because I've got aSome of my notes here. Are you okay if? So the scenario was Maria, a youngsingle mum of two with a six year old boy and a four year old [00:08:00] girl,and they all lived with Maria's mum in a small bedroom separate from the mainhouse, which contained the toilet.


[00:08:05] Gerry Scullion: This meantthat Maria and the kids had to go outside to access the toilet no matter theweather. The kids brushed their teeth less often. Which naturally impactedtheir dental hygiene, and the little one developed breathing problems. Becauseof this, they frequently missed school, and Cata and her team worked with themto understand the situation and co design a toilet.


[00:08:27] Gerry Scullion: Eventually,they designed and built a sort of toilet in a box, providing them with a warm,safe, easy to clean toilet, and the little one no longer had breathingproblems, and they both enjoy brushing their teeth, and they don't miss schoolas much. It sounds like a a persona scenario of some sort there, like you know.


[00:08:46] Gerry Scullion: So tell ustell us about Maria and the scenarios. What was the research like for thisproject?


[00:08:51] Catalina Bonavia: So theylived in a town called Moreno. And the first time I met them they, Maria's momis called Hélène. [00:09:00] So I actually started talking with Hélène first,and then Maria will start enjoying the conversation with us. And it was reallylovely. Like you were telling the story and I just went back to those.


[00:09:10] Catalina Bonavia: meetingswith them. ELian had also two other kids that were a bit younger than Maria.And we just sat there and have lots of different conversations. And at somepoint we started bringing kind of collage. Images so that they could buildtheir bathroom in a paper. So we could see what was really important for them.


[00:09:34] Catalina Bonavia: And whatwere the things that we could deprioritize for the cost. And maybe 3 monthslater we got some donations for materials. I did a course to learn how to buildwith SteelFrame in Argentina. Everything is built with bricks, but to do itquickly, we needed to do it with SteelFrame. So I did a course myself andlearned how to do that.


[00:09:59] Gerry Scullion: frames,is[00:10:00]


[00:10:00] Catalina Bonavia: Yes.


[00:10:01] Gerry Scullion: it? Steelframes. What does that mean?


[00:10:03] Catalina Bonavia: It's howthey build houses in Australia or in the States, but instead of wooden, it'sall steel.


[00:10:10] Gerry Scullion: Okay.


[00:10:11] Catalina Bonavia: And webuilt a prototype and started to bring the different parts into the house andbuilt the bathroom with them. Myself, my boss, and the and them, so,


[00:10:25] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.


[00:10:26] Catalina Bonavia: and to bevery honest, that one took longer than what we wanted.


[00:10:29] Catalina Bonavia: So then wedecided on the next prototype to make it shorter.


[00:10:34] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. So howcome with, to


[00:10:42] Gerry Scullion: design forthem. And I know in the email from Paul, we're talking about co designing it,but how come there was one, it was a private project and it wasn't like anindustry where somebody was trying to come up with a concept to commercially.You know, scale the idea. Like, how come it [00:11:00] was just for the onefamily?


[00:11:01] Catalina Bonavia: Or, theidea wasn't that it was going to be just for this one family was the prototypethe idea was then to keep going with the prototype, yeah.


[00:11:11] Gerry Scullion: So, With thescenarios that you had, like, you had a really great kind of case study, if youwant, or scenario or context building exercise, what did the process look likewhen you completed the research? How did you get into prototyping? Like, I'mtrying to think, when it comes to prototyping toilets, let's see.


[00:11:28] Gerry Scullion: You've got alot to work from, probably in terms of what's out there in the market alreadyin terms of van life, people living in Vans in America, you know, yacht livingwhere people live on boats. Tell us what the what the process was like aroundprototyping and how did you determine if it was for use?


[00:11:48] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah, sowe looked at all of those things, but we also knew that even though thesepeople don't have a current, currently didn't have a toilet, they wanted atoilet that looks like an actual toilet from a house. They didn't want[00:12:00] one that looks like a...


[00:12:02] Gerry Scullion: Right.


[00:12:02] Catalina Bonavia: So when,yeah, so we need to find a balance between making it work for them, but alsohave being a product and not something that you have to build everything on theside.


[00:12:16] Catalina Bonavia: Becausethe one thing that we learned is that once they. tHey usually go and buydifferent materials and stuff and have it on the backyard and then it takes forthem 1, 2, 3 years to build it because they have a lot of priorities. They havea lot of kids they have to go and work. So we needed something that was able tobe built in a couple of hours, max.


[00:12:39] Catalina Bonavia: A coupleof days without having to really think and know how to do a toilet. It was justlike plug and play had to be um, but also had to look like a proper toilet.


[00:12:53] Gerry Scullion: There'sprobably a status thing there as well as they're like, as regards having atoilet is a certain, [00:13:00] you know, social status to say that you've gota toilet in your house, obviously.


[00:13:04] Catalina Bonavia: So


[00:13:04] Gerry Scullion: tell us howit worked then.


[00:13:06] Catalina Bonavia: yeah so welooked for lots of different materials and options. We started looking forsteel frame at the beginning because it looks Like, it could be the easiestway, but then we realized that it was too heavy with it. This one that we builtfor Maria, it was too heavy to


[00:13:23] Catalina Bonavia: Betransported to the place.


[00:13:25] Catalina Bonavia: And thento to put it from the truck into the house, you needed four or five people tomove each wall, which you can't always have.


[00:13:34] Gerry Scullion: So it was abathroom really as well, was it? It was


[00:13:37] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah,


[00:13:37] Gerry Scullion: as opposedto just a toilet.


[00:13:39] Catalina Bonavia: yeah, itwas a complete bathroom, yes.


[00:13:41] Gerry Scullion: Okay,awesome.


[00:13:43] Gerry Scullion: is Thereanywhere online that people can look at this? Is there a case study of itanywhere, maybe on the three, six website or


[00:13:50] Catalina Bonavia: I don'tthink we have it in the 3Six website, but yeah, I we can put it there,


[00:13:54] Gerry Scullion: we can getit. Okay. Because it'd be good to put a link in the show notes for people whoare [00:14:00] listening or watching to be able to check it out themselves. Soanyway, tell me, I'm excited. You are exploring the material choice and thekind of process around to get something that was more implementable. I


[00:14:12] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah, andthen we've, then we found so for the first one we did use a steel frame, andthe second one we found another material that is... It's used for when youbuild big freezers. I can't remember the actual name of the material, um, butit's really uh, it's very good to, for isolation and it's also really light


[00:14:39] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.


[00:14:40] Catalina Bonavia: to build,it's that the purpose of that is to build Rooms that you can have I, I will getyou the name of the material so we can put it into the show notes.


[00:14:50] Gerry Scullion: That'salright, no, that's cool, it's cool.


[00:14:54] Catalina Bonavia: and then,so


[00:14:56] Gerry Scullion: go ahead.


[00:14:57] Catalina Bonavia: with thatone we didn't just kept talking with [00:15:00] providers and we, again, Ilearned how to use this material and how to make sure that it was going to besafe. But with that one, and then we build it for another family. And the maindifference was that in between the first prototype and the second prototype, firstone took like a couple of weeks, second one was a weekend and it was all readyto go.


[00:15:24] Gerry Scullion: So, a bigpart of it was making sure that it was easy to install, I'm sure, and easy to,you know, build and stuff. So,


[00:15:34] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah, andthat's not real tools were required. So we wouldn't expect them to have bigtools to. Yeah.


[00:15:46] Gerry Scullion: Thefundamental operation of the toilet. What happened to the waste? You know, howwas that handled? Was that something that they had to carry into the maintoilet in the house and dispose of? Or was there some sort of biodegradable[00:16:00] solution that


[00:16:01] Catalina Bonavia: We lookedinto biodegradable solutions, mainly for great water.


[00:16:07] Catalina Bonavia: And thenwe are also looking for everything else, but in these two cases, the, in thetwo towns, they were waste management already from the street. So we could pluginto their,


[00:16:20] Gerry Scullion: Plug it intothe street, was it?


[00:16:21] Catalina Bonavia: yeah, intothe actual waste management of the city.


[00:16:25] Gerry Scullion: Into theinfrastructure, so you effectively were able to reproduce A standard toilet andthe system of the toilet at a much more affordable price point. Is that right?


[00:16:38] Catalina Bonavia: Yes, and amuch more quicker way to build it, yes.


[00:16:43] Gerry Scullion: that's awin, isn't it?


[00:16:45] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah, itwas,


[00:16:46] Gerry Scullion: yeah, look,when I got the email and I'm just looking here, it was in June I wasn't toosure if it was just a one off toilet but either way, it didn't matter becausewhat's really important to me, especially on the Human Centered Design Networkstuff that we do, [00:17:00] is that it doesn't have to be scalable.


[00:17:02] Gerry Scullion: It reallydoesn't, it's just being proactive and trying to solve a problem for even thatone family, Maria and her kids. If that was the story and it stopped there. I'mlike, that's a brilliant, that's a brilliant result. But, tell us,


[00:17:16] Catalina Bonavia: it endedup pretty much there, because of the situation of the country and the politicalstuff, but it is a skill level model and everything is ready for it to bescaled


[00:17:29] Catalina Bonavia: If thetime comes.


[00:17:31] Gerry Scullion: So how doesit handle, like, I know I notice, about the dental hygiene and cleaning theirteeth and stuff. How does running water then get into the building? Is thatsomething, when you integrate with the city system, you also integrate withrunning water, is that right?


[00:17:47] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah,absolutely. I had to learn a lot about plum plumbing. Yeah. But yes, one of thewalls had, so we had one wall was existing from the [00:18:00] house where wemade a hole for the door, then two walls had nothing in it, and then the thirdwall had everything in it, already pre installed from us, so all the pipesinternally were there for waste and for running water, and they just have toplug it in from the system that they already had.


[00:18:21] Gerry Scullion: So in thatscenario where you've got the main house and you've got people buildingeventually a granny flat in the back garden, are there planning restrictions orplanning authorities that manage that process? Or I'm sure it's probably not.You're not going to go, no it's not like that, it's just like, hey there's somebricks, there's some cement, we need to get something, let's get it up andwe'll build it really quickly.


[00:18:45] Gerry Scullion: So as aresult, Each one of those granny flats, if you want, they're very different,because if there's no standards and they're just building based on, you know,availability of, you know, human power, [00:19:00] does that affect thescalability of the toilet? Because all of the main infrastructures are kind ofdifferent.


[00:19:07] Catalina Bonavia: It doesaffect a little bit, but it was one of the requirements that we took intoconsideration. The main thing that we needed was space outside the house. andone wall where we could create the access for the toilet. We didn't want to dobathrooms that were completely separated from the house, that is anotheroption, because it wasn't really solving the problem of kids having to walkunder the rain or going outside just to go to the bathroom.


[00:19:36] Gerry Scullion: So whatabout the cost? So whenever they're the human power of putting up a grannyflat, if you want, in the back garden and the decision not to have a toilet,was that mainly driven by cost? Do you believe? What did you say?


[00:19:53] Catalina Bonavia: It was alittle bit driven by cost. It was driven mainly by needing to, these people[00:20:00] actually have cash flow, let's say, but they don't have savings. Soputting all the money all together, it's very difficult. So the way that theysave money is they go and buy bricks and then they go and buy cement and thenthey go and buy something else.


[00:20:14] Catalina Bonavia: By thetime they are ready, the cement is, has run off. So the problem is, becausethey don't have a lot of understanding of how construction works, they, andthey know that they have to go and buy stuff because of inflation in Argentina,um, then the issue is that things, yeah, run off before they, they can use it.


[00:20:38] Gerry Scullion: so, so thesemantics of expiry for me, I do know a little bit about that from mymanufacturing and when I studied industrial design. so this, and obviously theclimate in Argentina as well, it can, there's quite extreme temperatures.


[00:20:54] Catalina Bonavia: Yeah, it'squite humid.


[00:20:56] Gerry Scullion: nature.Yeah. So. As [00:21:00] regards that project, like that's a remarkable projectfor someone who was probably just out of university at that time, were you?


[00:21:06] Catalina Bonavia: I wasjust...


[00:21:07] Gerry Scullion: you weren'tlong out of, you know, you were long into university, so it's been all downhillfrom there pretty much, you're not only joking. It's been a really interestingkind of entry into the world of design, where you were able to apply the designtheory and doing and get a huge result at the start. so From there, you endedup in Australia and tell us now you're the head of service design for three,six service design agency based in Melbourne. Tell us about more about thatagency. Cause I hadn't been aware of three, six until Paul emailed and it lookslike it's a really. You know, very socially considered and purpose led studio,if you want.


[00:21:52] Gerry Scullion: Is thatright?


[00:21:52] Catalina Bonavia: Yes, it isright. So 3. 6 is quite new. We just turned five years. twO weeks ago um, I[00:22:00] joined 3Six three and a half years ago, so very much from when Ninawas the only consultant I came in. We do service design, but we say that we dofrom strategy through implementation, using a human story design and a servicedesign lenses.


[00:22:18] Catalina Bonavia: And ourfocus is very much in implementation. So from my background working with thisbathroom, for example, and also from Nina's background, we are both verypassionate on making sure that things are going to be implemented and they areeasy to take on and stick in the organizations. So. We usually work withclients to really understand the problem that they're trying to solve for.


[00:22:45] Catalina Bonavia: And thatwill mean looking into customer experience, but also mainly staff stakeholdersand the organization itself. And then designing a solution that, that will lastfor them. And how do we make it stick? And [00:23:00] most of our clients arein the HKR education government spaces. We really want to make, to, to, we bothwant to, everyone wants to work in projects that, that we can see the impactionthat, um, that has a real meaning to what we're doing.


[00:23:19] Gerry Scullion: yeah. It'sfunny. I'm looking at Nina's profile here. We've got a lot of people in commonfor my time in Australia, but the team looks very kind of diverse andmultidisciplinary. So I'm looking at the different skills. It's a small enoughteam, but the work sounds. Fascinating. Do you have any other case studies ofrecent projects that we can talk about in more detail?


[00:23:43] Gerry Scullion: I know therewas some stuff there I remember reading around COVID. Is that right? am I thinking,was there any projects in that space?


[00:23:50] Catalina Bonavia: Notrelated to COVID.


[00:23:52] Gerry Scullion: No. Must beanother agency.


[00:23:55] Catalina Bonavia: not thatcomes to mind at least.


[00:23:57] Gerry Scullion: I could takethis bit out.


[00:23:58] Catalina Bonavia: That'sokay. Yeah, we do [00:24:00] have a couple of really cool case studies. Onethat we've been working with a bank here in Australia, a very small bank thatlooks after teachers and nurses. From Victoria. We've been working with themfor the last two years.


[00:24:14] Catalina Bonavia: And wedesigned the strategy for them, for the whole bank. And


[00:24:19] Gerry Scullion: is that? Canyou talk about it?


[00:24:20] Catalina Bonavia: yeah, bankfirst.


[00:24:22] Gerry Scullion: Bank first.Okay. Cool.


[00:24:24] Catalina Bonavia: Yes.


[00:24:25] Gerry Scullion: I doremember there was a case study in particular that I was really interested in.It was the home aged care system. Were you involved in that project?


[00:24:34] Catalina Bonavia: Yes. Yes.I was. Yes. So we


[00:24:36] Gerry Scullion: Tell us alittle bit about that. Cause that's something that I'm particularly passionateabout.


[00:24:39] Gerry Scullion: Like, youknow, as we kind of, it's really important for us to consider people towardstheir end of their lives if you want, or at that point in life. So, thank you.Tell us when was the project and what were the problems that you were trying tosolve?


[00:24:54] Catalina Bonavia: So we hada couple of projects in home care. One was end of [00:25:00] 2020 and we'recurrently working in another one. The problems that we usually see in homecare, um, especially after COVID in Australia The management of the aged caresector was really difficult and people have decided to move into home care.


[00:25:16] Catalina Bonavia: And at thesame time, the government has made a decision that they want to invest more inhome care than in aged care. So, a lot of these organizations are moving theirbusiness models more into home care while they still have the aged careresidency. But home care has to be stronger and one thing that we keep sayingis that people, for example, they don't know that this amazing resource exists.


[00:25:40] Catalina Bonavia: They don'tknow that they can access it as a benefit from the government once you reach certainage.


[00:25:45] Catalina Bonavia: And by thetime they realize this is a service that they could offer, they could access,it's not too late, but they have missed out on a lot of things already. sO onebig thing that we work with our clients in [00:26:00] HGR is awareness, um, andhow do they get into people's lives.


[00:26:07] Catalina Bonavia: eaRlier sothat they can know that they are there for them, um, for when that come timetime comes, sorry.


[00:26:16] Gerry Scullion: So, was thisfor one of the, like, Service Victoria, was it? Who is it for?


[00:26:22] Catalina Bonavia: No weworked with BMCH and with Uniting Age Well. So they are two, two home careproviders currently we're working with, Uniting Age Well.


[00:26:33] Gerry Scullion: So, one ofthe pieces that you said there before about 3. 6, about being focused onimplementation. How does that set you aside or set you, what's the point ofdifference there between other service design practices? And what are theskills that you have within the team that maybe other service design agenciesdon't do?


[00:26:51] Gerry Scullion: Because Iknow some people only go as far as creating the prototypes and the, thebusiness model and then saying, okay, we'll pass it back to the business.[00:27:00] What does that look like from your perspective and what did thisscenario of, you know, the Home Aged Care service design project what does thesolution look like and the implementation look like?


[00:27:11] Catalina Bonavia: So, backin 2020, what we did for BMCH was to design the onboarding experience for the,


[00:27:19] Gerry Scullion: Okay.


[00:27:19] Catalina Bonavia: For thepeople that were showing in home care. And what we did was first we researchedand we understood everything as. Usually we did the prototypes, uh, but whatmade the difference was that then we worked with them to, and to the developersthat they were working with to make it into the CRM that they were building.


[00:27:40] Catalina Bonavia: We alsohave a process improvement. We have a team that looks after process improvementand process implementation. sO they will work with the business to make it intobusiness as usual and design those processes to make them. Easy and applicableto, to what the client is doing [00:28:00] and needing. So we know that CRM canlook into, they can be very different, but the importance is what do the clientneeds it for and what are they doing and how are they using it.


[00:28:13] Catalina Bonavia: So we workreally with we call it sign. every single step, but mainly then we work intohow do we make it real for them? How do we do something that they can solve,they can use it in the short term? And also look into the long term, but if weare only focusing on the shiny bits that are going to take five years, thennothing is going to change.


[00:28:36] Catalina Bonavia: So weusually look into, Well, what do you currently have? And what can we do withyour current systems and your current situation? And then how do we go into thebest possible solution for the client?


[00:28:50] Gerry Scullion: it soundslike there's there's a lot of interesting work happening in 3. 6 and justgenerally in Australia. They always seem to have interesting case studies. It'skind of where This [00:29:00] Is Eight City came from as well. But what's thehope for 3 6? Like, what's your own purpose behind all of this? Like, what'sthe next wave of opportunity looking like for Catalina and


[00:29:13] Catalina Bonavia: sO for us,it's now the next year, it's mainly focusing on building capability and reallybuilding the, our ways of working. I'm now working on a project called thethree six way. So that, that, that includes all our methodologies and processesso that everyone that comes on board know how we solve problems.


[00:29:34] Gerry Scullion: 6?


[00:29:35] Catalina Bonavia: Ideally,then we want to move into being able to share that with other people and beable to give these tools to, to other service designers to make sure that otherpeople are also solving problems. Once we have really nailed how to, how we useit and how to communicate it. And we recently redesigned our strategy and wewant to, in our big hairy audacious goal, as we [00:30:00] call it, it's in 10years to be the go to agency for solving wicked problems.


[00:30:05] Catalina Bonavia: So we wantto be solving problems that are big and that are going to have an impact in theworld.


[00:30:11] Gerry Scullion: To do that,to be able to solve those complex problems what are the skills that you'reidentifying that are going to be needed? Within both the client and also withinthe organization of


[00:30:23] Catalina Bonavia: Greatquestion. The first one I think it's empathy and really understanding and, buthaving a really thorough understanding of the problem, being very curious andnot getting the first answer as the, this is the problem. We really need to digdeeper to understand why things are happening. And then in the other side, it'sum, technical skills.


[00:30:47] Catalina Bonavia: And it'smainly implementation skills. So, because there are so many great ideas tosolve different things in the world, but we need to make sure that those thingsget implemented. So, it's looking [00:31:00] into, um, how do we translate thatidea. into something that, that we can do it.


[00:31:07] Gerry Scullion:implementation, it's an interesting one, but experimentation is obviouslysomething that would be also probably part of that mindset to,


[00:31:16] Catalina Bonavia:absolutely.


[00:31:17] Gerry Scullion: when I'vebeen looking into the complexity, like experimentation is one of the key piecesthat we, we talk about. But we really just kind of, you know, it can besometimes a throwaway comment, but it's really important to, to experiment,


[00:31:31] Catalina Bonavia: yeah. Andstaying flexible in that experimentation, no? And open to what comes out ofthat experimentation.


[00:31:37] Gerry Scullion: and not justvalidation, like when you see something that's being experimented, it's kind ofgoing, well, here's my baby. This is the one that I think is going to win andthen sitting back and going, look at it it's thriving. And you're kind ofwilling it on in any of those research sessions.


[00:31:50] Gerry Scullion: Catalina,look. We're coming towards the end of the episode. If there's people out therethat want to connect with you, learn more about 3. 6, I'll throw a link to 3.6. com. [00:32:00] au into the show notes for people to check it out. It soundslike there's a lot of interesting stuff going on in the studio. But if peoplewant to reach out to you, what's the best way for people to do that?


[00:32:11] Catalina Bonavia: MyLinkedIn will be great. And also my email is katalinaat36. com. au.


[00:32:17] Gerry Scullion: very goodemail that eluded me this morning as well when I was looking for it in thecalendar invitation, but look, I end every episode by thanking people for theiropenness and just their general kind of like vulnerability of being put on thespot by me because I tend to work in a very free flowing way and I let my owncuriosity drive these conversations more often than not. Thank you so much forgiving us the time and sharing your story.


[00:32:44] Catalina Bonavia: Thank youvery much for having me here and for being curious about this. It's been anhonor. Thank you.


[00:32:49] Gerry Scullion: I'll talk toyou soon.


[00:32:50] [00:33:00]



John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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