Maker Faire Detroit: Interview with Veronika Scott of The Empowerment Plan
Originally posted on MAKE:
The amount of creativity coming out of Detroit is just astounding, and Veronika Scott is one maker who has put her time and energy into making a difference in the community. Veronika spearheaded The Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based humanitarian project which centers around the Element S Coat, a self-heated, waterproof garment that transforms into a sleeping bag at night. The coat is made by a group of homeless women who have been paid to learn and to produce the coats for those living on the streets. Veronika is one of the hundreds of makers who will be presenting at Maker Faire Detroit, taking place next weekend, July 30 and 31, at The Henry Ford in Dearborn.
1. Tell us about The Empowerment Plan project. How did it start and how will you be bringing it to life at Maker Faire?
This project really started for me as a student at the College for Creative Studies. Up until then, as young industrial designers, we have been working on products, such as cellphones and medical equipment, that were really just aesthetic and couldn’t exist in the real world; they were purely conceptual. When I started The Empowerment Plan, it was the first time I had to think beyond the scope of just “user” or “client” — this had to pertain to a community of individuals. And to me it was no longer just a concept, it was something that I was trying to make happen. So working within the scope of reality was pretty new to me.