Open-Source Online Community Platform - EDC

Current website screengrabs

The Ecological Design Collective is the brainchild of Anand Pandian, Nicole Labruto and Michael Degani. According to them, “this is a place to nurture small experiments in ecological transformation: material and inventive outcomes that always acknowledge their social roots, that take failures as necessary and inevitable compost, that pursue joyful exchange as a vital nourishment for diverse communities.”

Built amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the collective was visualized as a space that was primarily virtual, for all things at the intersection of ecological thinking and design theory and practice. Something that started off through informal conversations, soon was a small group of people called the Curators. They built an online, open-source space for dialogue (wordpress forum) and conversation (mattermost commons). Over the course of a year, this platform gained over 600 followers. 

The platform did not see as much engagment as expected. The number of people attending events reduced gradually, the forum posts were idle and commons (which is a slack-like platform called mattermost) only saw selective usage. There were accessibility issues, the hosts started questioning the value-based alignment of the platform. There was definitely a space for such a platform that brought together ecological thinkers and doers together to connect, share ideas and build collective visions.  

How might we build a platform that is open-source and accessible to the needs of the thinkers and doers of ecological design?

August 2021-present

Ecological Design Collective


+ UX Designer
+ Design Strategist


I led and handled the entire design process from process planning and timeline management to design decisions and role delegation. I set in place a human-centered design process alone with a UI-UX design process that ensured authentic user research, problem mapping and constant usability testing.


We conducted one on one interviews with about 30 people.

We reached out to 30 users that had been in touch with EDC through different events and projects over the last year. I conducted 1:1 video interviews that helped understand the sticky points and their motivations behind being a part of EDC. 

I also helped create a survey and sent it out personally to a few folks and through our newsletter to the wider community. We used a few open-source alternatives for the research - nextcloud and it’s ‘forms’ function was great for creating the survey form and we use ‘PhpList’ as our open source campaign tool. 
Anand Pandian
(founder and curator of EDC)

Alejandra Melian-morse
(anthropology student and summer intern)

Zoom and other ways of recording the interviews to transcribe 
Figma to collect data points, theme and synthesis


We used figma to synthesize the interview by theming and drawing insights. Insights into how the users think and feel helped create user flows to look at how a user would interact with the platform/app. I also created a sitemap that helped us think through the different components of the platform as well as look at the navigation system for each of the pages/components.

*Currently, this is an on-going project so reach out for the most up-to date information!

We are currently in the process of creating user personas and building a feedback team; we are collating our survey results and building the baseline platform infrastructure. We found an open-source platform building infrastructure that we can rely on for hosting. Lots of new developments upcoming, stay tuned!

︎︎︎ BACK

 2020 ︎Eesha Patne ︎