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Product Design

We are the Product Design class of 2020. Thinking of our time at the Glasgow School of Art, and the way in which it’s been cut short by COVID-19, brings about a mixture of emotions.

Despite the events of the last few months we’ve continued to work individually and collaboratively to bring you a digital event that showcases what we’ve been working hard towards over the past year. Our projects reflect an accumulation of our interests, from reimagining the future of education, celebratory experiences focused on menstruation and menopause, developing societal structures, reducing humanitarian issues like homelessness, moving towards a more sustainable future, to engaging the senses through sound and smell to heighten experiences and improve people’s quality of life, as well as much more. We’ve really covered it all this year!

Our course, titled ‘Product Design’, is far from limited to this meaning and during our journey at GSA we’ve all learnt to shape the essence of design around an inner passion we possess for helping people and creating meaningful and educational experiences that we hope may positively benefit the future. Although the pandemic has already changed the way in which society operates, the aftermath will require people able to look beyond the lines of job disciplines and approach tasks holistically to tackle problems with an open mindedness, crucial in times of uncertainty such as this.

As a cohort, we are ambitious, vibrant, versatile, dynamic and a little bit crazy at times. We explore, observe, take risks, encourage one another to think critically about the world and challenge the way it works. Innovation should not be viewed as a luxury – rather an integral part of everyday life. Our work revolves around collaborative, human-centred and speculative approaches, underpinned by a desire to make purposeful change in a world which seems to need collective support and meaningful design more than ever.

We hope you enjoy the work curated for this digital showcase and would like to invite you to join zoom calls during the week 1st – 5th June to discuss our work and the future of the design industry with the eager and determined class of 2020.

Product Design Programme

Our students work beyond and across traditional disciplinary boundaries and engage with specialist expertise from other domains, such as science, medicine or technology, to create a vision of a better future, born of a critique of the present. They explore complex social, ethical and environmental issues as subjects for design projects, and learn how to apply research
methods and analytical skills adapted from the social sciences in order to ensure their designs respond to the needs of the people who will use and be affected by them. Through a unique combination of studio-based learning and live projects, students acquire a wide range of visualisation, communication and material-making skills that will enable them to bring together user insights, expert input and ethnographic information to drive the design and innovation process.

The B.Des pathway challenges conventional perceptions of Product Design as a discipline born of industrial practices, focusing instead on reimagining experiences and responding to the complexities of modern life. The Master of European Design (MEDes) is a unique pathway created by the Innovation School in partnership with six other eminent European design institutions. The Programme situates the School’s trans-disciplinary approach to product design in an international context, providing an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in different cultures, and experience alternative approaches that will inform their future practice.

B.Des Self-Initiated Project

The culmination of final year and the highpoint of their GSA education: this is where B.Des students make their mark on the world, by defining their own area of intellectual exploration, writing their own brief and delivering a design outcome. Working with a Project Tutor to identify an area of interest, each student develops an appropriate design brief based upon their personal research and resolves this brief, creating a design(ed) experience that creates value and appeal for the intended user(s). Here the students demonstrate that design is as much a political act as it is a problem-solving exercise or aesthetic endeavour. To see students explore the problem of period poverty as an issue affecting half of the nation’s population, or to explore the sensory impact of sound or scent on human experience, is to appreciate that design and innovation are attempts to re-imagine human experience, and not just improve upon existing gadgets or consumer goods.

B.Des Future Experiences Project

Students were asked to consider the changing relationship between Sustainable Development and the Global South. Working with experts from the Sustainable Futures in Africa Network; the project’s partner, and academics at the University of Glasgow, the students explored what might happen in a global landscape ten years from now, where Sustainable Development has evolved to the extent that new forms of work transform how people engage, learn and interact with each other. The showcase curates and displays the diverse range of future products, services and experiences designed by the cohort for the people who might one day live and work within these future contexts. Here the graduates worked with academics and inhabitants of African cities to explore a collaborative approach to the imagining of the future: to utilise the design skills of giving form, of visualising, of making tangible and shareable to something as tricky to describe as the future…
In doing so, they unleashed their own and their collaborators’ imaginations, creating possibilities that challenge our contemporary sense of the possible and the desirable. Should people commodify and sell their own genetic material? Could waste plastic material ever challenge monetary exchange within communities who value quality of life over financial gain, ecology over economics?

https://fe.gsainnovationschool.co.uk

Project Partner: Sustainable Futures in Africa https://www.sustainablefuturesinafrica.com


MEDes Thesis Project

The Masters of European Design award culminates in a self-directed study that combines academic research and writing, design practice, user-engagement and creative expression. The MEDes Masters project is a self-initiated project that explores the historical, cultural and critical context of a subject or theme chosen by the student, it is the ultimate educational expression of their personal intellectual interests. Working with both a Project Tutor and an Academic Supervisor (for their thesis) the students demarcate and deliver a design project that synthesises the historical and the contemporary, the practical and the academic, in the form of an extended piece of writing and a series of design explorations, and a resolved outcome.

MEDes Collaborative Futures Project

Conducted in partnership between the Innovation School and Glasgow City Council’s Centre for Civic Innovation (CCI) to explore how data could shape the experiences of Glasgow’s citizens in 2030, and envisage what a well governed city might look like moving forwards. This project has involved the final year Master of European Design (MEDes) students, alongside graduate designers, working with professional designers and data experts from the CCI, and a variety of civic and academic stakeholders. The Collaborative Futures project demonstrates the power of design to critique the present as a way of creating a preferable future, at a time when the very idea of what the future might be is up for debate. The uncertainty of the future, its capacity to surprise and disconcert has been revealed in tragic terms in recent weeks. These two young designers offer a vision in which design is a way of thinking about and working towards a brighter future: one in which the fluctuations in the economy or the ecological consequences of contemporary life are explored and addressed. These very personal projects speak to the experiences of everyone in an era of global pandemic, our dream of a better tomorrow is built upon the work done today.

https://cf.gsainnovationschool.co.uk

Project Partner: Centre for Civic Innovation​
https://designfordata.org/Innovation.html

With thanks to our project partners and contributors
Future Experiences project partner lead, Dr Mia Perry, Co-Director of the ​Sustainable Futures in Africa Network​ and Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. Nicol Keith, Professor of Molecular Oncology at the University of Glasgow and the ​Institute of Cancer Sciences​ Director of Research Impact. Brian Proudfoot, Founder and Brand Design Specialist at ​GOODD Ltd. Santini Basra, Design Strategist, Researcher and Founder of the futures research and design strategy ​studio Andthen​. Collaborative Futures project partner lead, Stevie McGowan, Creative Design Lead at Glasgow City Council, ​Centre for Civic Innovation​.

Eyeam is a brand and kit to help children build empathy skills. Through the use of perspective taking and discussing emotions, the children gain a greater understanding of their own feelings as well as how others around them feel and think. By using the kit to transform regular objects into expressive creatures, they get an opportunity to explore these empathy skills in a playful and comfortable way.

A breakdown of how to use the kit and the value created through it. Though the project had a core focus on the development of empathy skills, it also improves the children’s cognitive development, social skills and promotes creativity/imaginative thinking. Teachers and parents can use the prompt cards to encourage discussions about emotions as well as children playing together without an adult input.

The concept originated from visiting the Hamilton School for the Deaf and observing the social difficulties for deaf children while communicating with hearing children. This gave me the drive to create a kit to help children understand the differences in difficulties or needs that we all as individuals have. I felt that making an extremely visual and tangible design was key to making the kit accessible to anyone. I also chose the playful and colourful aesthetic to create a more welcoming experience for an often hard to discuss topic of emotions.

Alongside designing the kit, I also created the brand eyeam. It was inspired by visualising emotions and how I chose to do this through the eye pieces. The eye pieces therefore can be used to represent an individual and their experiences, whether they are fictional or real stories. They are a way to prompt discussions such as, “I am feeling…because of…”, so the brand eyeam naturally emerged. The kit will act as a new form of communication between hearing and deaf pupils with a focus on emotions, thus helping the children to understand each other better.

Screen templates for The Sankofa Journey app. This project explores an alternative form of education for those in Malawi who have had to drop out from school due to social, economic, environmental, racial, or political factors.

A breakdown of how the app connects current university students and employers with those who have experienced barriers to an education. It creates a continuous cycle of knowledge sharing, community connections and new career opportunities. This will help to reduce the amount of people who currently choose to move away from Malawi to access training and education.

This model was created to experiment with different ways to display the various actions in the app. The app screens can be removed from the base and slotted into a centre display stand. It was tried out at our exhibition in The Lighthouse earlier this year and received great feedback on both how it displayed the screens and how it worked as an interactive exhibition piece.

A look into how the app helps individuals to achieve their personal educational goals. It includes a range of both practical and academic mini credentials to collect. The range will gradually get bigger and bigger as new people with new skills join the Sankofa Journey.

Future Aberdreams Documentary Trailer

Aberdeen is changing. This project questions not just how this will impact people and how people will adapt, but what peoples’ dreams and aspirations are for their future of working in the Aberdeen region. The project aim is to co-create positive future visions of work in the Aberdeen region to focus and inform future investment and innovation. The documentary trailer features the voices of Lord Provost Barney Crockett and Maggie McGinlay, Deputy Chief Executive of Opportunity North East.

Mapping Aberdeen

Renowned for the entrepreneurial mindset and international outlook of the local people, the Aberdeen region is rich in both human and natural resources, that are supported by investment in infrastructural resources for the region in sectors such as education, transport, tourism and culture.

Expert Stakeholder Engagement

Engaging with expert stakeholders is a key part of the project’s design research methodology. Pictured is the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett whose cultural insights have informed the project.

Future Aberdreams Landscape

Co-creation workshops were designed alongside a set of physical and experiential tools to make the emergent phenomena and future work landscape of Aberdeen tangible. The workshops aim to engage citizens and stakeholders in the question of future economic opportunities in Aberdeen and allow citizens to explore their future career ambitions within the region’s future landscape of work. Using these tools, and workshop insights, we can facilitate debate between decision-makers and citizens and begin to discuss our preferred future scenarios for the region, and ultimately roadmap how we might get there.

My Future CV, 2030

The Future CV artefact is a designed tool to allow workshop participants to begin to consider their future careers in a changing Aberdeen, and what kind of skills they may need to develop.

Co-Creating Futures

The value of co-creating futures is that diverse viewpoints, opinions and dreams can be shared between citizens and stakeholders and we can begin to see a picture of what we’d like our collective future to be like.

Future Experiences Project: 'CultivAid'

CultivAid is a system that uses digital technology to support and encourage indigenous farming methods. It promotes the sharing of knowledge and advice between farmers around the world to provide a support network within the agricultural industry, helping to face challenges posed by climate change. The project was inspired by challenges faced by farmers in rural Malawi

CultivAid': Agriculture and Climate Change

Based in Malawi, Africa, my project focussed on the transfer of energy between farmer and land in Agriculture through the lens of progressive Climate Change. Africa is more vulnerable than any other continent to the continually changing weather patterns and is predicted to see some of the most drastic impacts of Climate Change. 70% of people in Africa earn their income from farming, however increased variable weather conditions will leave their livelihoods vulnerable.

'CultivAid': Building Resilience

From my research and discussions with members of Sustainable Futures Africa, I gathered that there was an opportunity to learn from local knowledge as it is more accessible, often requiring little to no equipment, and often equally as effective as modern technology. This would make it easier for farmers around the world to adopt to become more climate resilient. Following this I was inspired to design a system to harness local knowledge to share with farmers experiencing different climates globally whilst providing data driven advice.

'CultivAid':Combining Senses and Sensors

I wanted to integrate the technology, providing accurate soil and weather analysis and advice, into the choreography of checking the soil and weather conditions. I made a series of wearable prototypes out of found objects to explore how the sensors and a feedback system could become part of a ritual.

'CultivAid': A Richer Connection

The CultivAid system helps farmers assess important factors affecting growth of crops such as soil conditions and climactic events in response to challenges posed by abnormal environmental conditions resulting from the Earth’s changing climate. Through enriching the connection between farmer and land by promoting indigenous farming methods, the senses are correlated and adjustments can be made.

Self Initiated: 'Guardians of Glasgow'

Residents of the model Green City get a Glasgow Guardian badge upon gaining citizenship. It tracks their environmental actions, earning them citizen points and encouraging positive behaviour to reduce feelings of climate anxiety, particularly in young adults.

'Guardians of Glasgow': The GlasGoesGreen Movement

What if, following the 2020 Climate Summit held in Glasgow, Scotland made a pact to go emissions free by 2025? I based my project in Glasgow following the initiation of the GlasGoesGreen movement in which Glasgow becomes the UK's first model green city, focussing on how Glasgow City Council would approach the issue of civilian mental health.

'Guardians of Glasgow': A Climate Anxiety Epidemic

Climate Anxiety is a growing issue and according to psychologists and supported by my research, is most prominent in young adults. As climate change progresses, so too will associated mental health issues. How could this be channelled into pro-environmental behaviour before it results in a climate anxiety epidemic?

'Guardians of Glasgow': A Future Vision

To develop the future context in which I was designing, I examined current trends and phenomena before projecting them into the future - what are the unintended consequences and how could they shape future societal and cultural structures? This helped me to envision the GlasGoesGreen movement and its impact on local citizens

'Guardians of Glasgow': Visualising a Collective Impact

Individuals can view their positive impact on the app and their community impact on display boards around their district, creating a sense of empowerment and motivation while helping to channel feelings of climate anxiety into pro-environmental behaviours.

Future Experiences - Plastibank and The Exchange Machine

Plastibank’s mission is to empower individuals and communities that have been victims of plastic pollution. Plastibank’s product The Exchange Machine allows users to participate in a material stock market where they can deposit their plastic waste and receive financial credit in return.

Plastibank - The Global South

Plastic pollution is rife throughout the Global South. It has become the Global North’s dumping ground. Communities have become landfill sites where both people and environment suffer. Currently there are many countries and villages extracting valuable materials from these landfill sites however, at great cost to their health and of the surrounding environment due to the toxic fumes encountered when excavating these materials. Furthermore, the individuals involved in the removal of materials are exploited as they are paid a miniscule amount when they deposit their collection to material suppliers.

Plastibank - Redefining Economics

This quote by Dr Mia Perry co-director of the Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA) set the tone for the entire project. Given that my domain to design for was ‘Economies’ it was an appropriate statement to act as the catalyst for this project. It inspired me to seek alternative currencies and to disrupt the idea that a nation’s value is solely based on Gross Domestic Product.

Plastibank - Presenting at the Work In Progress Show

Presenting my concept in a Work In Progress exhibition, at the Lighthouse gallery in Glasgow, allowed me to gain further insight and feedback from our partners at the Sustainable Futures in Africa, as well as friends, family and the general public. Presenting the project in this format allowed it to be viewed and treated as a design proposition rather than a response to an academic brief.

Plastibank - The Impact of Plastibank

Plastibank is the stepping stone for generational change. It is more than just a brand, it is a new sustainable way of living. Recycling waste material was uncommon and seen as unimportant in many developing nations but that has changed. Plastibank is a new economic system that financially rewards users for collecting plastic waste, which can then be reused to limit the amount of natural resources being transformed into virgin plastic. Finally, Plastibank allows for the creation of new sustainable jobs that benefit the community and the world.

Self Initiated Project - Sonic Spectacle

Sonic Spectacle looks to create a new way of communication through the medium of an aural sensory experience.Situated in Glasgow, sonic spectacle shows an individuals or communities impact / contribution on the future of their city through sonification. The aim is to incentivise citizens to participate more in future decisions creating a participatory democracy as well as allowing Glasgow City Council to better understand the citizens needs.

Sonic Spectacle - Glasgow 2050, Tomorrow’s world today

Throughout my research I came across insights that highlight Glasgow City Council’s methods of obtaining user research. This is mainly gathered from local meetings between the citizens of Glasgow and the City Council. However with limited presenting time and seat availability there were many individuals not able to make it to the presentation or ask important questions. I then began to think of ways to make local events / meetings more inclusive and available to everyone.

Sonic Spectacle - If these walls could talk

Sketching allows me to quickly ideate concepts, not only to visualise what that concept would look like but to develop my own understanding as to how users could interact with the design. This is especially important as I was exploring the various ways of turning users interactions into data loops as well as utilising sound as a material to further enrich the users experience.

Sonic Spectacle - A journey to the audiovisual

The video shows that the more inputs (noise) made by people's interactions with the design intervention, the more strands begin to grow and develop. therefore creating an expansive network of data that will continue to feedback, loop and evolve. This offers Glasgow City Council the opportunity to gain valuable insight to what the citizens of Glasgow really want for the future of their city. Thereby creating a participatory and collaborative future.

Future Experiences Pt.2 - Outcome

My individual project is called S.U.T.E.C., which stands for safe, urban, technologically advanced, environmentally friendly and communal living. S.U.T.E.C. provides a safe space for women who are beginning new lives in Cities in the Global South. Sustainable and environmentally friendly, S.U.T.E.C. is a refuge created solely for women that incorporates all of the essential amenities they might need to ensure a sheltered and comforted stay until they gain confidence and independence. This includes: a communal kitchen, toilet, showers and a shared garden.

Future Experiences Pt.2 - Context

Our discovery stage research centered on self-sufficient and clean energy in rural Africa for which our team designed a model village of the future. Driven by my desire to design for the vulnerable I focused my project on women; who are often disadvantaged in the Global South. I wanted to take the values of clean energy, self-sufficiency, exchange and community from a rural context and translate them into the urban environment and cities to develop spaces for females to gain their independence.

Future Experiences Pt.2 - Insight

Informative engagements with experts from the Global North & South provided key input to drive my project. Understanding their lived experience gave me a deep insight into a context I did not have access to and informed my conceptual focus on women who felt unsafe living alone in urban slums. In particular I was drawn to their feelings of dread in the long distances they had to walk to access basic facilities such as toilets. As they constantly have to fear violence, especially at night.

Future Experiences Pt.2 - Develop

Creating a 1:100 scale model of the building for exhibition allowed me to understand the complex intricacies of the potential spaces and environments that the user would interact with and navigate, such as stairways and bathroom facilities. Further iterative developments gave me insight and feedback to drive decision making and consider my final outcome from a human centered perspective. The model contains a shower room, courtyard garden, bedrooms, solar panels and the roof-top water heating system across three stories.

Future Experiences Pt.2 - Impact

Starting a life in the city is not easy in some places in the Global South and many people end up living in slums. There the living conditions are often very bad; especially for women. I wanted to add value to the lives of these women, to improve their standard of living whilst allowing them to maintain a sense of community; formed with the other occupants of the house. These spaces would be founded through charity organisations as a framework with local governance thereafter so that they could be self sustained by the women living there.

Self Initiated Project - Outcome

For my self initiated project I chose to focus on understanding the experience of children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in primary education; with the goal to develop an increased awareness and empathy of the condition. My insights aim to inform and inspire decision making of the experts in the field, and through co-designed workshops, develop interactive public facing exhibitions and a specialised awareness weak that focuses on familiarising the lived experienced of ADHD for others. I am mostly concentrating in creating these for educational institutes so that teachers and students can learn about the condition.

Self Initiated Project - Context

I chose to focus on ADHD due to strong misconceptions and the lack of public awareness of the condition. This image shows a compilation of the way different people have visualised ADHD often resulting in a negative perception despite the numerous positive qualities to it. My research entailed desk and user research, I mainly focused on the way teachers deal with ADHD in their class, how they are informed about the conditions and next to the general facts about ADHD. I also looked at what the positive and negative aspects of ADHD are and how they affect people.

Self Initiated Project - Insight

Through Your Child’s Eyes is an inspirational example by understood.org that has inspired my project a lot. It is a virtual tool aimed to make people understand what it feels like to struggle with different learning disabilities. https://www.facebook.com/Understood/videos/2226693820690305/?v=2226693820690305 . This virtual tool shows one way of making people understand the struggle people with ADHD face every day which then helps create more empathy for them.

elf Initiated Project - Develop

Within the discovery phase of my project I conducted two online questionnaire surveys to gain a broad understanding of the world of ADHD within the school environment. I focused on the experience of children with ADHD whilst in school and what teachers are taught about the condition. I collated and synthesised the data from this and visualised it into in several infographics to drive my next stages of concept development. This helped me to understand how students struggle in school and the frustrations they deal with on a daily basis.

Dissertation

My dissertation investigates the value of secrecy and hidden compartments through an exploration of pockets and spaces used to hide secrets or personal possessions; from the 17th Century to the present day. I present how the perception of privacy and secret keeping has changed and evolved by examining the technological advancements that have helped us hide secrets over time. A lot can be learned about society and the economic situation of an era by understanding what people had to hide at the time.

Future Experiences Project - The Usual Place

The Usual Place is a framework of three core beliefs: ‘pride of place and tradition, cultural mobility in sound, and a committed and connected community’. The result is a community of music makers and consumers who identify with, and can be identified by, the special symbol and who can share culturally relevant beliefs to breed future-orientated thinking from within. This community can manifest in a number of ways depending on the socio-economic circumstances of place, including as an app to tie the community together and a physical-format music exchange.

The Usual Place - Context

In the coming ten years, trends indicate that record labels will become obsolete and the creation of music will come second to the advertising of products by musicians in order to make money. Large conglomerates will fuel this and act as the new music facilitators, thus muting cultures and dragging unsustainable notions of development bred in the Global North to the Global South in the wave of globalisation. Drivers of local culture, and change, including the youth, can identify with The Usual Place as a motion for rebellion. Something to hold on to, to preserve locality and tradition in the face of unsustainable growth.

The Usual Place - Insight

The brief laid bare a unique challenge in understanding my place as the designer who is being asked to design for sustainable roles for the Global South. Aware of avoiding ‘colonial’ approaches, I identified early-on during expert input sessions that it is key to encourage development from within communities in the Global South in order for fresh, relevant future-building approaches to arise.

The Usual Place - Process

I explored my work, especially in the early exploration and development stages of the project, through heavy use of sketch books. I find that this 2D visual format allows for me to document my thinking quickly and articulately. I can then use this as the basis for more refined visual communication of ideas, as a prompt for conversation with peers and tutors, and as a diary insight into my design approach.

The Usual Place - Value

The Usual Place has the capacity to evolve into a global community of like-minded groups who use music as a vehicle to allow cultures and traditions to drive change, instead of being carried along by the wave of globalisation. This change, as implied by the different iterations of the recognisable icon, would be tailored to the place in which it sits. This tailored change is more likely to be sustainable and innovative, unique to place and local problems, but supported by a wider network around the world.

Self Initiated Project - Era Sine

Era Sine (era sin-e) is a speculative design exercise that projects a new tangibility onto the reality we already live. Time is our own, we can do what we wish with it, it is a tradeable and valuable thing. We always have it on our person, and it reflects the kind of person we are. In our attempts to de-personalise it because we know this can be unhealthy, there are places that we can go to meet up with others and share our time amongst each other to experience it as a collective. This is our attempt to be without time. Era Sine.

Era Sine - Context

The present-day struggle to manage time can seem rather like a nightmare. This persona, based on interviews with a student as target-user, illustrates this reality. Students, and mostly everyone, walk a tightrope toward productivity. This need to balance our responsibilities in such a way that we spend our time wisely is brought on by the commodification of time in our society. A way of challenging this notion is to highlight that we cannot ‘spend’ time and it does not get away from us, because it was never ours. This understanding could clear a path toward alleviating mental stress brought on by our need to feel productive.

Era Sine - Insight

Time-related stress is one of the most prominent mental-health challenges in our society. Evidenced here as illustration in a quick research exercise amongst my peers and their stress levels relative to time during a project, the graph highlighting the positive and negative effects of time-pressure. Crucially however, it is understood, through years of in-depth research into time-use diaries, that our feelings of rushed-ness do not correlate to a change in daily activities. In the last sixty years, what we actually do all day hasn’t changed much. The busy-badge that we are so proud to wear is a projection of the folk-narrative of our time, of society at large, unto ourselves.

Era Sine - Process

I developed speculative scenarios, and explored ideas inspired by insights, through storyboarding. I find this method of visualisation and communication not only helps me think critically about a concept, but it acts as a conversation starter for users and peers. Furthermore, rapid prototyping using things like modelling clay can add a tangibility to ideas that brings them into a space where they can be imagined in use in reality.

Era Sine - Value

Era Sine imagines time as a physical commodity to be cherished and shared. This speculative approach to designing for the topical and relevant mental-health issue of time related stress, lays bare our current unhealthy relationship with time in the hope of encouraging new modes of thinking. By illustrating a real-life problem and scenario in such an ‘unrealistic’ manner, we can come to terms with the absurdity of it and use this to change our habits.

Future Experiences – ‘The Global Knowledge Exchange’

By 2030, aid should no longer be something administered to the Global South by the Global North. There should be opportunities for an exchange of knowledge and skills rather than the simplistic provision of money and resources. ‘The Global Knowledge Exchange’ sees ambassadors in the Global North and Global South teaming up to discuss ideas that are important to their communities.

The Global Knowledge Exchange – User Journey

Using virtual-reality headsets and a series of tools to aid their conversation, the mentors are able to uncover knowledge that they then share with their communities. The three artefacts are used as tactile input devices to support discussion. The mentor can also wear the objects as jewellery to prompt conversation within the community.

The Global Knowledge Exchange – Mobility of Knowledge, Expert Input Day

The Global Knowledge Exchange’ builds on an insight I was introduced to while continually working with experts, shown above. This system will challenge this common misconception, proving the Global South has much to offer the Global North. This was the central focus of this project - an equal knowledge exchange.

The Global Knowledge Exchange – Form and Colour Exploration

Although people were important during this project, how to communicate with one another with the issue of a language barrier was another crucial factor. The artefact inspiration came from the connotations surrounding crystals and how they are symbolic to people. I was deeply interested in getting to people through artefacts which required a form development to reach the final outcome.

The Global Knowledge Exchange – Final Artefact in Use

The artefacts demonstrate a gestural, haptic language that is tactile for the ambassadors to communicate effectively with one another in a new, universal language. The series of three artefacts allow the users wider accessibility to one another while also relating to each object on a personal level.

Self-Initiated – ‘Link’

The central focus for this project was to create a better ‘Link’ between society and post homeless people through food. From the research conducted I found that currently there is a lack of communication between stakeholders surrounding post homeless people. ‘Link’ would ensure that all stakeholders create a better network for homeless people, situating society at the forefront of this.

Link – Field Research

Research shows that there is a vital time to implement change to ensure the cycle of poverty is broken within the post homeless community. For this to succeed, homeless people need to feel like citizens and a part of society. While conducting interviews with homeless people (past and present), community kitchens, and soup kitchen volunteers, it became clear that most homeless people in Glasgow do not, and often never, feel a part of society.

Link – ‘The Struggle of Struggling’

Speaking to a man who was ‘hidden homeless’ triggered the thought that many people want to help those in need, sometimes we just don’t know how to make a big enough impact. Not only is this valuable for the receiver, it is also equally beneficial to the donor. ‘Link’ would be a collaborative cooking and dining experience, with equal benefits to both users.

Link – Distilling Research

After discussions with various stakeholders showing my work, it was evident that this service would take form of a system that allowed a domino effect of support to be accessible. ‘Link’ allows the post homeless user to establish a connection with a buddy with the idea that they will later become a buddy for a new user down the line.

Self Initiated- SELF-Brand Manifesto

Self is a wellness brand, promoting the benefits that masturbation has on an individuals’ mental health and self esteem. Self provides a range of products which are gender neutral as well as hosting events to promote body confidence. The term ‘self love’ replaces masturbation, to emphasise the benefits as well as moving away from the term which seems both mechanical and hyper-sexualised.

Brand Ethos

The colour palette chosen by Self includes a range of earth tones to suit all genders. The earth tones give off a feeling of nature, which works as a metaphor to emphasise the naturalness of masturbation. The colours contradict the usual colours of ‘sex toy’ branding, to clearly differentiate Self from them and target a younger audience by being less intimidating.

User Journey

Jo’s story shows a young person going through a difficult time of self doubt. With pressures of social media and pornography on both body confidence and sexual performance, adolescents can be left with feelings of low self esteem. Self ethos shows the benefits of self love emphasised by psychosexual therapists by explaining ‘if you learn to love and respect your own body, you will go on to love and respect others too.’

Form Exploration

These are material samples from the development stage of the project. The idea was to play around with ambiguous forms and materials to disconnect with conventional sex toys and create something which is gender neutral. The idea of the products is to leave the imagination up to the user, and to pass as unrelated objects. The inspiration for the half egg shape is taken from worry stones used in meditation, to redesign masturbation as a wellness ritual.

Leading Insight

Currently Scotland has the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe, compared to The Netherland which remains at the lowest. My dissertation looked at influencing factors including sexual health and relationship education in schools. The key insights were the tone of voice which sex is transmitted to young people. The Dutch’s positive and pro-sex approach with the introduction of pleasure is contrasted with the clinical tone projected by the Scottish curriculum. SELF’s ambition is to tackle this issue without the challenging task of changing the education curriculum. SELF’s aim is to educate young people that both masturbation and sex are natural and create positive views surrounding sex. This will reduce the act of rebellion from the clinical style of education which results in risky behaviours.

Research Tool

The reserved attitudes present in Scottish culture can often result in ‘prudishness’ when discussing sex. This has a negative impact on young people's mental and sexual health, preventing the discussion of important issues regarding sexual health due to fear. This research tool provided me with insights on what young people felt most uncomfortable speaking about, but in a lighthearted and interactive way breaking down barriers which are present in education.

Future Expierences - The Blended Healthcare System 2030

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased global emphasis placed on the pursuit of new cures and vaccines. I decided to flip the brief on its head, and look at what we could learn from the Global South - the western way is not the only way. The Blended Healthcare system aims to develop cures whilst introducing cultural sensitivity in medicine by encouraging collaboration between different practices, traditional and conventional medicine. The system introduces a new healthcare role – the Treatment Mediator and Consultant (TMC).

Personal Health Records

Due to conventional medicine being considered the best way to treat illness, trust must be established before traditional medicine can be accepted by society. To reduce any speculation on new treatments as a result of the newly developed system, devices have been created allowing patients to access their own health records. The health records are stored and accessed through fingerprint biometric data which provide updates on advice from the TMCs or doctors, previous and future appointments, treatments given, analysis of health and goals set by doctors and TMCs.

Africa's answer to Ebola

The research for the project was based around the International NGO - Prometra, The Andrew Young Foundation and Morehouse Medical School Ebola project. Through the combination of traditional African medicine and conventional medicine, they found plant extracts that are a ritual of African traditional medicine which stopped the growth of the Ebola virus. In the press conference conducted relating to these findings, all partners urged for more organisations to work with them in order to transform healthcare through working together. Link to full video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQkiswWChy4 Link to press conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZEUb0YPx6U&feature=emb_logo Prometra’s take on COVID-19: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l3RcmNa_G8

Tacc Outcome

Future Experiences looked at sustainable work practice and the changing relationship between the Global North and Global South. The theme given to my group was Environment. My individual project resulted in tacc, a service that analyses user’s unique circumstances and provides personalised plans demonstrating steps they can take to live a sustainable life. The service provides clear goals and visual data outlining how small sustainable acts add up. Tacc also connects users to like-minded people so they can share their experiences. The result is a global community attempting to live sustainably and create impactful change that will benefit future generations.

Tacc Context

Within the Environment group we imagined a future where cities would be surrounded by the ‘Sustainable belt’. This would be an area dedicated to functioning as sustainably as possible, working in symbiosis with human and nature. From this scenario I envisioned an unintended consequence, where the forgotten few who are unable to uproot their lives to live more sustainably are inevitably left behind. Tacc is there for those who are left behind.

Tacc Insight

No amount of desk research compared to the invaluable insights gifted to us by the visiting experts. With such a range of experts in different fields each with their own wealth of experiences, it was easy to fill a notepad after only one day's session.

Tacc Development

The tacctile and ever evolving tacc logo represent a fingerprint of the environment at that moment in time. In the year 2030 the tacctile and accompanying tacc logo reflect the global dependence on industrial means and the man-made world of the 20th century. The logo visually mirrors a grid-iron street pattern and unbalance wealth of resources. Our goal is to achieve evenly distributed harmony and balance by the year 2050.

Tacc Impact

Tacc is focused on helping people to live more sustainably by encouraging small behavioural changes in everyday life. It targets people who have a desire to be more sustainable but feel daunted by what might be required. Tacc creates a network that helps users realise they are part of a greater whole and that their combined efforts can make a big difference.

SPACEBUDS Outcome

SPACEBUDS logo is a Rocket, a universal symbol of exploration, pushing the boundaries and limits of discovery. Here at SPACEBUDS we believe food restrictions are a boundary that can be pushed past and explored within a controlled and safe environment. When you see our trusted Rocket you can be reassured, knowing that the establishments we support care about you and your food restrictions.

SPACEBUDS Context

Often people with food allergies will create a ‘safe food’ barrier around themselves based on what they think their allergy restricts them to. In turn they end up avoiding everything which hasn’t been previously experienced before this protective barrier was fully formed. In rare occurrences when people with food allergies decide to go somewhere new, not yet trusted, they can experience a panic attack based on worry and uncertainty. Panic attacks can easily be confused as an allergic reaction which causes more panic making the situation worse, creating a new trauma that will shape their experience negatively.

SPACEBUDS Insight

Avoidance is the only solution; this should not be the case. From a young age people with food allergies are taught avoidance, this is to be vigilant, cautious and completely avoid situations that might trigger a reaction. This is done by instilling anxiety into newly diagnosed people, manly children, as a coping mechanism often referred to as the goldilocks principle, which is the, just right amount of anxiety. However, this often results in the unintended consequence of developing increased levels of anxiety. As well, contributing to developing other side effects such as increased levels of stress, OCD, paranoia, social isolation.

SPACEBUDS Impact

This video is narrated by Callum, who suffers multiple severe food allergies. Throughout the development process of SPACEBUDS I worked closely with food allergy sufferers to gain the insight into exactly what challenges are faced daily. This video captures the result of this user-centered design approach and highlights the positive impact SPACEBUDS would have. Too often people with food allergies miss out on social gatherings as they feel it be safer avoiding restaurants chosen by a group, as well as not wanting to feel like a burden by asking to go elsewhere. SPACEBUDS is here to change this for good.

Future Experiences: Wise Women

Wise Women is aimed at improving access to healthcare for women in rural communities within the Global South, whilst simultaneously creating roles for women in the healthcare system. The Wise Women combine traditional healing methods and approaches with modern medicine. They are trusted members of the community, whose role is to advise other women about preventative health measures, treat simple conditions, and refer more complex cases to specialists.They use wearable ‘Techxtiles’, created from weaving together fabric and conductive fibres, to aid diagnostics and treatment.

Future Experiences: Wise Women

This speculative project builds upon current roles of women in the textile industries within some African cultures and explores a natural evolution of this industry as the technological abilities of the world develop. Crucially this project highlights a shift from the clinical ‘West is best’ mindset, towards one of empathy and touch. At the core, the Wise Women service is a sustainable loop of knowledge and skill sharing from one generation to another. Young women are offered the opportunity to become a community Wise Woman and are trained by their elders eventually passing on their knowledge to the next generation.

Future Experiences: Wise Women

The hook moment for this project emerged during insightful conversions I had with the experts from Sustainable Futures in Africa. We discussed issues surrounding the ongoing obstruction of women rights in the rural communities of Sub-Saharan Africa. In particular I was most driven to learn about access to healthcare for women and girls. I began to question what an empowered women could resemble within this context and was particularly inspired by historical Matriarchies like the Akan society which had existed in Ghana until the 1950s.

Future Experiences: Wise Women

The development stage led me to explore the current domestic textile making techniques used in the African textile industry. For me this felt like one way of connecting with my users’ experiences, something I always strive to do in my design practice. As well as exploring tech weaving I investigated cultural traditions of scarification and tattooing: even pushing the idea further by exploring “tech tattoos” that would allow for palm to palm diagnosis, an idea that really tied into my wish to create a health system that encouraged touch and empathy.

Future Experiences: Wise Women

This project aims to highlight the issue of gender equality in rural communities of the Global South. In particular women’s access to, and roles within, healthcare systems. I propose a preferable future: one that sees women able to seek care whilst also being able to aspire to be an educated and working woman. The project also explores the development in medical textiles, a concept that is at the forefront of future thinking in the health and design sectors.

Self Initiated: Interventions for the Worried Well

The ‘Worried Well’ are a group of people particularly anxious about their health, resistant to reassurance and are perceived to be disproportionate users of health services. Interventions for the Worried Well consists of a family of five annoying but well intentioned objects that aim to stimulate the senses, interrupting negative thought cycles surrounding health. This re-education of anxious minds aims to help users cope with their thoughts at home and creates a pause in a moment of panic.This project challenges conventional healthcare methods, and speculates upon playful solutions.

Self Initiated: Interventions for the Worried Well-

I began this project investigating ‘health anxiety’, a topic I had no idea would become so relevant just a few months later. Many of us, particularly in the current climate, feel anxious about our health. For some, these common feelings can become all consuming. These people are known to health professionals as the ‘Worried Well’. I had the pleasure of working with three General Practitioners and a Postdoctoral Research Associate in psychology and neuroscience. They were essential in helping me uncover the many issues at play for both the Worried Well and the health professionals who care for them.

Self Initiated: Interventions for the Worried Well

The crux of the project came while exploring the journeys of the Worried Well with one of the General Practitioners. She explained the importance of intervening before the worrier makes the choice to seek help which in itself can unintentionally feed their anxiety further. This brought about the idea of creating a ‘pause and reassess’ stage in the user journey before contacting a professional.

Self Initiated: Interventions for the Worried Well

The development stage of this project did not go as expected. Due to the current pandemic, I had to think of inventive ways to create and test my ideas. Fortunately I enjoy making by hand and I believe the challenge of working with the materials to hand in fact developed my visual semantics further. I explored a range of approaches such as stop-motion animation and extensive model making and testing of materials to advance my level of visual comminution.

Self Initiated: Interventions for the Worried Well

My objects were inspired by the renowned ‘54321 technique’, where an anxious person will concentrate on locating sense stimuli e.g. five things they see, four things they can touch and so on. While our minds have the ability to spiral and exaggerate our physical bodies anchor us to reality. Acknowledging the senses reconnects us to our physical body and acts as a tether to reality. This grounding allows the worried well to reassess their thoughts and consider symptoms more rationally, reducing unnecessary concern and visits to the doctor.

IN GOOGLE WE TRUST (A WORK IN PROGRESS)

A critical design project that will consist of a 7 part video series designed to be shown in an exhibition to question our role as both the agents and victims of surveillance capitalism by drawing parallels to the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic religion. Its aim is to show how we are slavishly following the ‘religion’ that is surveillance capitalism, an all knowing, all seeing presence.

I drew parallels betweeen the Catholic religion and surveillance capitalism; they are both omniscient, elusive presences that know everything about us, they are shrouded in mystery and in the same way that some turn to God when they need answers, others turn to Google.

The elusive nature of surveillance capitalism makes it seem too complicated to grasp, which in turn, creates feelings of anxiety in some, and disinterest in others. I wanted to design an analogous system to surveillance capitalism as a way to get people to question their role within this ‘hidden’ societal structure in which we are largely complicit.

We live in a society in which Big Tech knows everything about us, from our internet searches to the size of our houses. These companies are able to paint a detailed picture of who we are, using data that we do not even know they have access to. They use this data to engineer our behaviour towards a predetermined future like we have previously seen with the Cambridge Analytica scandal that contributed to the rise of Trump and Brexit.

IF YOU'VE GOT A BODY, YOU'VE GOT SOMETHING TO SELL.

If you’ve got a body, you’ve got something to sell looks at the future of the gig economy in the Global South. It focuses on what could happen to those who lose their jobs to automation, who may have nothing left to sell but their bodies. The project is based on the current issue of body commodification, which sees people in the Global South make a living through the transnational kidney trade, hair trade and surrogacy. It poses the question of what the gig economy might look like if it was possible for buyers in the Global North to purchase another person’s genes from the Global South in order to change one’s own genetic code using CRISPR-Cas9 technology.

In a future in which genetic material is bought and sold, what impact does this have on consumer culture and trends? ‘Trend Magazine’ is a bi-annual publication entirely dedicated to forecasting and discussing trends, but these trends are no longer about what clothes to wear or how to style your hair, instead they consider more invasive changes such as eye-colour or athletic prowess.

Exploring ways in which this automated future could be realised, I recognised that when people have nothing left, their only resource is the human body. I created a matrix to look at the different manifestations of a gig economy based on the sale of genetic material. The y-axis ranged from government-led to community-led, while the x-axis considered what each of these scenarios could look like if the body was viewed as sacred or whether it was exploited.

Estimates from the World Bank predict that 66% of people in the Global South will lose their job to automation. It is this statistic that served as the basis for my project--what is the meaning of life when there is no work?

Future Experiences Project - 'Constitution Cloth'

The Constitution Cloth focuses on a positive sustainable future for the Samburu tribe in Kenya. The final outcome is based on a collaborative event that encourages conversations around rights, values and diversity. The co-creation allows both community members and external designers from an NGO to experience the form of collective intelligence that helps to share each individual’s skills with one another.

The constitution is known as the supreme law of the Republic of Kenya and there is only very little knowledge about it in the indigenous communities of Kenya. What if we educate citizens by humanising terminology that also adapts to their own needs locally?  The Constitution Cloth artefact focuses on the ability of design to communicate beyond the words. It provides a fair representation of each community with a clear ‘formula’ of sharing the power and resources via constitutional arrangements.

Ethic conflicts in Kenya mainly stems from land inequality and regional imbalance. In this project I focused on envisioning the successful tribalism future. By recreating the current map between indigenous communities and government in Kenya, in comparison I established a credible future vision where structure of politics is focused on achievement of unity and diversity.

The group work phase resulted in a speculative future-word role that provided a foundation for the individual part of my project. The Community Ambassador role focuses on the importance of communication in maintaining strong communities. Following the experts input sessions I was able derive the main insights that drove me to tackle the complex topic of human rights in Global South.

As a part of a culturally aware project, I found it crucial to explore various opportunities of the materials use. This helped me to identify the most practical application for the Constitution Cloth artefact. In this case, I experimented with a range of organic materials that best represent the local Samburu tribe.

To communicate the value and the impact of the outcome, I created a 2D user journey of the system. It represents the experience of creating the story through co-creation. Each person’s voice within the Samburu tribe is being discussed and transferred to the Constitution Cloth as a statement. The locally made garment is worn by the Community Ambassador to represent their tribe during the gatherings with other tribal leaders as well as further international information gathering sessions.

Self-Initiated Project - 'Glasgow Canals Sustainable Stories'

My self-initiated project explores the relationships between people and nature, helping to bring both on the same level. I created the 3D landscape using both artificial and local organic materials found during the fieldwork. The model helps to envision a positive future for Glasgow Canal citizens living on the boat. These innovations identify the citizens’ relationship with environment as well as offer potential health and social benefits.

What is it like to live in a sustainably developed neighbourhood in the near future? The aim of my project was to transform the local economy of Glasgow Canal neighbourhood along sustainable lines. It helps introduce people to circular economy by resulting in dynamic outcomes.

In order to develop design opportunities I used the visual sense making method to generate the material from primary and secondary research. The main insight has drove me to explore the hidden properties of nature with the use of technology, in order to reconnect with environment.

Desk and field research has led me to multiple design opportunities such as, sustainable urban infrastructure, renewable local materials or shared experiences through local resources. Such opportunities focus on a key moment - enabling mutual experience through the focus on sustaining the environment of Glasgow Canals.

Exploring the role of futures design and storytelling in reimagining our relationship with nature post COVID-19.

Climate change in Scotland still feels intangible but we are beginning to see glimpses of the future. This image of a flooded underpass outside Buchanan Bus Station could become a lot more common. In an imagined future, Glasgow turned Hydro-City, people have adapted to local climate change by valuing local food production and nature based solutions to flooding.

In a future Glasgow a resident of Cowcaddens grows food on their balcony. The balcony is only a tiny part of a distributed network of local food production that makes use of biosensors to monitor the state of the city’s produce. Even in a future adapting to food insecurity, sprouts are still divisive vegetables.

Citizen science has become an important part of caring for the local environment. In this image a resident of Garnethill is helping to monitor the health of their local SUDS* pond in a public bio-hub. After a trend of people submitting buckfast as a pond sample a data cleaning AI was installed in the sample reader. *Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems

Despite the imaginative nature of stories from a future Glasgow, they are firmly based in research, including fieldwork with citizens in grassroots organisations and interviews with experts who work for Glasgow City Council, Natural Heritage and Scottish Forestry. The stories are designed to facilitate pro-active discussion and decision-making informed by possible future scenarios.

Visit to the Scottish Storytelling Center. Traditional storytelling techniques create an immersive experience using only words and body language. Humans have used storytelling for thousands of years to communicate knowledge and values. There is evidence to suggest that character driven stories cause oxytocin synthesis in the brain, evoking empathy which can have a powerful effect on people's beliefs and behaviours.

Field work at Seven Lochs, taking part in the workshop, ‘Introduction to freshwater: their habitats and how they can be monitored’. Discovering the importance of insects in our ecosystem and how citizens can take monitoring their environment into their own hands.

Repair Cafe Glasgow is one of a network of organisations supporting the international Repair Movement. Increasingly citizens want the right to fix their products for both economical and environmental reasons. In a future Glasgow responding to the planet’s diminishing resources, the skills required to fix things will be valued more.

Found images from a future Hydro-City

Future Experiences - Renew your energy, resources, abilities together

Renew is an energy exchange service based within rural Africa in 2029. It is a tool for sharing resources and service in exchange for energy in order to give the community the power to create and manage their own equity circulating within their community. Whilst also promoting efficient use of your energy resources.

Renew's System Overview

Renew responds to the energy group’s future-based 2029 rural decentralised Malawian model village, TERRA. The TERRA community believes that energy should be freely accessible to all as it is fundamental for local productivity and progress. Here displays an overview of the renew system.

Expert Input

By working closely with experts within varied fields linked to sustainable development, my group and I examined the future possibilities for the use of energy: primarily within the global South. Renew acts upon our group’s vision for any new technologies to be introduced they must be integrating well within the community and promote a resourceful community philosophy to reduce waste.

Concept Development

I explored how Renew might be integrated into the community by generating possible community personas. Candis for example runs her own business at home and the amount of energy she needs fluctuates depending on how busy she gets. Grace however is retired and spends most of her time in the community garden. Here is an opportunity for an exchange that Renew will help you be made aware of. These paper prototypes were exploring how Renew might act as this visual queue through movement and form.

Community Impact

work : Renew helps you track and detect your excess home energy levels by visually indicating these to you and your neighbours, creating a new form of currency within the community and promoting self sustaining lifestyles.

Self Initiated - Scotland's Secondary School's Creative Future

This project proposal seeks to examine the integration of creativity within the future context of a Scottish Secondary education system. Creativity builds on skill sets like critical thinking, communication and collaboration. These are all required to thrive within within our ever changing job world, climate uncertainty and increasing cultural diversity to name a few. Creativity also encourages positive mental resilience towards overcoming challenges in the modern world. Future schools may place higher importance on the drivers displayed here to encourage such skills to develop.

Goals and Challenges

Responding to the pain points; exams restricting personal growth and interest in learning, root learning that can cause a ‘learn and let go’ behaviour and teaching to reach an exam all contribute to undermining the Scotland’s current Curriculum for Excellence objectives. These objectives were developed to anticipate some of the key attributes individuals should have in Scotland’s future context; for young people to be successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens. This posed me with the design challenge to think of new ways to reinvent how we might execute these goals in the future.

Value in Creativity

Creativity encourages anti-disciplinary thinking, problem solving and many other relevant skills a young person would benefit from in our ever changing world context. The traditional constructs of linearity, segregation and ‘teaching not guiding’ were key elements found that block the ability to think creatively and be creative. Therefore, not equipping young people to the best of its abilities with these vital skills to be set for life.

The project aims to outline the pre-sets of what the intended outcome sets out to achieve. I look forward to exploring this project further in the near future and hope that it has been an enjoyable preview for you. I believe that creative thinking/creativity has what it takes to broaden our minds about how we learn and the kind of people we become.

Menstrual Matters

Menstrual Matters is a series of narrative props to explore menstruation, allowing participants to map their cycle and navigate different menstrual landscapes. Visual metaphors facilitate discussion and reflection around complex issues associated with menstruation. As Onkar Kular writes in Crafting Narrative, these designed things with which we surround ourselves, feed into the memories and meanings which make up our lives. They become the ‘signifiers of who we are, and even the script for how we behave’.

Explore, educate, empower, through tangible thinking

Menstrual Matters can be used by both menstruators and non-menstruators. Inclusivity in menstrual learning is vital for instilling empathy and solidarity. (Pictured: teaching my little brother about the menstrual cycle).

Free Periods rally

In February of this year I joined the rally for free periods outside Scottish parliament. Monica Lennon’s Period Products (Free Provision) Bill was passed 112 to 0 with 1 abstention at stage 1! This would make period products available for free. (I’m pictured in the red scarf) #PeriodDignity

‘I thought bleeding was a technical term, like with radiators’

Menstrual Matters project film. As a way of engagement, I collected ‘period stories’ throughout my project, asking people to write about their first experience of menstruation. It was clear from reading these that many people felt awkward or ashamed and that most of the current menstrual education is superficial and often an ‘add on’ in biology class. In truth, every cycle is different and requires a flexible narrative. Menstrual Matters encourages people to reject menstrual misconceptions and reframe the narrative.

SenseVoice - Future Experiences

SenseVoice is a public service that encourages communities to capture their unique values through different senses. This non-linguistic form of expression offers an effective way of collecting and communicating important Memories, Aspirations and Judgements. A Value Navigator invites participants to capture an aspect of their community using the most appropriate physiological sense. Local creatives then transform these sense portraits into outputs such as exhibitions or presentations that can be shared with other communities, schools or governments. By experiencing positive or negative sensory values in this way, the SenseVoice network can appreciate how others around the globe are living. (Pictured, capturing the scent of an urban food garden in a school playground in Rio, 2030, an aspiration to share with a partner community).

New forms of expression

We experimented with language manipulation and the power of translation during the group phase of the Future Experiences project, receiving advice from external experts. We discussed how in 2030, environmental pressures may cause global organisations to limit their air travel and therefore rely more heavily on digital communication to operate. This may cause a disconnect in the understanding of different values around the world. In light of this, SenseVoice offers a new form of communication. As Dr Mia Perry, co-Director of the SFA (Sustainable Futures Africa) Network says ‘sometimes the most effective means of expression is through non-linguistic forces’. 2nd image - ceramic plate absorbs the scent when sprayed.

Release

The collected scent of the urban food garden in Rio is released to a school community in the UK. This smell transports participant receivers to the captured scene and may inspire them to create a similar garden of their own. (The scent itself was created at Arboretum, a fragrance design studio in Glasgow run by Clara Weale.)

The SenseVoice service

This SenseVoice film illustrates three scenarios of use. 1 - Celebrating an individual memory to be released in a community exhibition. 2 - Exchanging an aspiration with a community across the globe, released in a school setting. 3 - Inspiring community activism to be released to a local government.

Self-Initiated Project - Open Ear Installations

Open Ear Installations are based in various places throughout the city. They make it possible to focus on listening to our environments, rather than just look. Each installation amplifies the sounds around itself but quiets the visual distractions. In this way each visitor can discover an aspect of their city’s character they may have overlooked in the past.

Open Ear Installations - Listening to Anthropophony

Anthropophony is any noise made by people, directly or indirectly. It has many negative connotations for plenty of reasons, but because we live in a primarily visual culture there is not much action taken against problems of noise. A first move towards a changed sonic landscape is recognising the need to listen and appreciate the sounds around us and to find the value in them. Hence, my project encourages active listening and rediscovering the lost beauty of noise.

Open Ear Installations - Maximising Attention

In order to understand this topic, I asked participants of my field research to ‘collect’ moments of noise and quiet and to visually record them. In the group discussions afterward, the most interesting discovery was that most of my participants said they enjoyed the opportunity to focus more on the sounds around them. In this concept creation sketch I was exploring the connection between senses by translating noise into a visual installation. However, because this would reinforce the visual culture, I decided to maximise the attention to sound instead and minimise the attention to visuals.

Open Ear Installations - The Appreciation of Noise

The intended impact of this project is for users to grow an appreciation of noise, to listen more intentionally and to find joy in the mundanity and novelty of soundscapes likewise. I aim to challenge visual culture and inspire growth in auditory culture of everyday noise. As a result, I hope to enable necessary actions being taken to protect sonic landscapes and their audiences – us.

Future Experiences Project - Habitat

Habitat is a new system of a public greenspace which allows city-dwellers in the Global South to escape the hustle and bustle of their environment. Because faith plays a major role in the Global South, Habitat seeks to re-establish traditional connections between faith and nature. People who seek a space for prayer, meditation or rest can find a small oasis within the busyness of the city. The app helps the users to locate them easily and to verify their availability. The service also indicates the environmental qualities of the spaces, such as noise levels.

Habitat - A Small Urban Oasis

Habitat - Faith Groups & Sustainable Development

The role of faith groups is vastly different in the Global South compared to the Global North. Oftentimes, faith groups are the most trusted authorities and people turn to them in times of need. They are strongly embedded in local communities and thus, can have a large impact. Based on these facts, it is inconsiderate to assume sustainable development in the Global South should be separate from local religious institutions.

Habitat - Nature and Faith

Based on the thesis that with appreciation comes care, the intended impact of this project is to reconnect faith and nature by encouraging the appreciation and delight of both. In concept creation I found that designing beautiful and calming spaces for prayer and meditation embedded in nature is a good place to start establishing this relationship in an urban context.

Self initiated Project-Modern Meanings

Modern meanings is a research project that involves analysing forms of understanding and personal meaning through online platforms and develop a new experience that enhances the sense of collectivity and oneness. It conceptualises a platform for people who are on a path of self discovery online, aimed at connecting people within local communities who are also in search for meaning and wish to engage in productive meaningful conversations. There is a growing desire to seek new truths on the internet, and many generations are being brought up with this being a key factor in the development of their personal identity. However it is clear that with this, is the importance to provide guidance and community relationships to ensure they are not alienated from their physical community, a feature in society that is crucial to maintain. This is a video highlighting my focus in the project, various “internet evangelists” who grew very popular in the recent decade became a point of inspiration. To try understand what people seek when they watch these videos.

Researching Spirituality and personal meanings around a spectrum of individuals, I identified different mechanisms, phrases and objects that often are associated with the spiritual, allowing me to define its characteristics.

Self Initiated Project: Modern Meanings

Exploring spirituality in western society (Glasgow) through its systems, culture, Experimental influences and the Environment, as well as assessing my bias on the topic.

Research for self-initiated

Future experiences - Infiltration of traditional Initiation Ceremony

Women in rural Malawi are still subjected to a traditional initiation ceremony when they reach sexual maturity. This involves sending them away to have sex with a paid male prostitute to rid them of their “child dust”. My project suggests an infiltration of the current ceremony in the way of an underground movement to provide the women of Malawi with contraception.

Expert Input sessions

“We could spend millions on new hospitals, midwifery education or the latest technology... the neonatal and maternal death rates reflect the devastating and inevitable effects of child pregnancy. To ease the pressure on the healthcare system, we must focus our efforts on prevention methods.” - Jude Robinson , Member of SFA Network

Infiltration

From my research I discovered that the ceremony is hosted remotely outside of villages and only females can attend them. This was my key observation for a way to infiltrate the system. With the help and assistance of an NGO, contraception, along with sexual and menstrual health education, could be provided at the new and improved ceremony.

10 years in the future

Using a speculative lens, I predict that contraceptive patches will be manufactured small enough to be able to fit on an earring backing. I chose earrings because, not only does piercing culture fit with African traditions, but they are also in contact with the skin at all times when worn and would be non-intrusive to the strenuous tasks these women complete daily.

Positive changes

With the introduction of accessible contraception, my proposal will dramatically reduce the neonatal and maternal deaths in Malawi, easing the strain on the healthcare system. By postponing pregnancy until the girls are fully developed themselves, their education will not be derailed from childbearing responsibilities which will in turn encourage brighter futures with financial independence.

Self initiated - Pause for thought

My ‘Pause for thought’ project looks into how design can overcome stigma and improve the physical and social experience of women going through menopause. My aim is to normalise the topic by celebrating the life transition like any other major life event. Menopause should no longer be relegated to a ‘woman’s issue’, I intend to challenge this thinking with my design outcome.

A life event

Using future thinking, I believe a menopause party could be as common as a birthday party in the future. Women would come together with their friends and family to acknowledge and celebrate a large change in their life. A party would eliminate feelings of isolation as the woman would be able to physically see the support system she has around her.

Personal experience

My drive for this project stems from watching my mum go through menopause. It wasn’t until I witnessed the effects first-hand, that I realised the lack of education or general conversation around the topic. The women I interviewed for my project, unanimously agreed that more measures should be in place to bring light to a natural biological change to the female body.

Rollercoaster of emotion

Rituals are an important element of parties, such as blowing candles out on a cake. I took all of the personal anecdotes and confessions from my interview participants’ transcripts and mapped the rollercoaster of emotions that were relayed to me. I used these emotions and translated them into actions for the choreography of the ritual.

Symbolism

A red frozen egg, symbolic of fertility and menstruation, is smashed by the celebrated woman. The ice melts to a red liquid which is used to dye a ribbon that is made into a badge for daily wear. The badge acts as a social queue for women, they no longer have to declare they are menopausal in order to have their needs catered to.

Future Experiences Project - Mother

Mother is a speculative LGBTQ health brand, offering discreet care under the guise of consumer products through an imaginative distribution network. Brand ambassadors or ‘Mothers’ act as representatives for the service’s members, providing information on risks the community may face and advising on a range of products to be distributed to members. These might include items relating to self-care, health and peace of mind.

Mother - Context

The project is a response to the current persecution of people pursuing same-sex relationships in some countries in the Global South. The brand name, Mother, is inspired by surrogate families which exist within the LGBTQ community, and the service itself is intended to mirror this dynamic. By posing as consumer goods and infiltrating existing supply networks, Mother will covertly provide illicit care and support to people forced into living secret lives.

Mother - Moodboard

While I began the project designing a service to covertly deliver medication, the scope quickly expanded to address the additional emotional impact which living in isolation and secrecy can cause. More than just providing medication, I wanted Mother to be a service which recognised and supported people from the LGBT community in countries and environments where traditional and official avenues would not. This ethos would be reflected in the choice of products distributed to members, with items related to relaxation and self-care offering moments of peace and tranquillity to make members feel valued and cared for.

Mother - Prototype

Early prototypes explored ways of delivering sexual health products and test kits with discretion and secrecy. Here a box of sweets acts as a decoy for the delivery of health products stashed underneath.

Mother - User Journey

Mother is intended as a small but powerful token of love and validation for people who have been ostracised from their families and communities. While the larger fight to eradicate homophobia around the world continues, Mother focuses on tangible moments of personal support and care, empowering individuals so that they might continue to live, seek community, and fight for their rights.

Self-Initiated Project - Maker

Maker reimagines the relationship between craftspeople and social media. While the online platform economy has in many ways saved the craft industry by allowing independent craftspeople to reach wider and more lucrative audiences, it has also introduced distinct new challenges to do with mastering social medias and marketing yourself online. Maker is a response to this juxtaposition of skill sets, attempting to create a seamless bridge between analogue craft practices and online sharing.

Maker - Homescreen

The project was designed in collaboration with a range of local craftspeople throughout Glasgow. The insights they provided went on to influence the design of the service, incorporating their complaints and suggestions. Many remarked that social media felt like a job too far removed from their craft practice, while others commented that properly communicating their personality or value was an ongoing challenge. The challenge then became to design a platform which felt like a continuation of their craft practice.

Maker - Research Quotes

Early research included examining existing social media platforms used by craftspeople, to map the kind of interactions which they uniquely cultivate. Instagram was mainly described to be about style and image, whereas Twitter represented voice and personality. The leading craft selling platform Etsy was described as being the most sales driven, while neglecting some of the capacity to show personality and process which other platforms facilitated. Collectively, each platform represented a facet of the contemporary craftperson's practice, but no one platform encompassed all of these elements, and all felt distinctly separate from the practice of craft itself.

Maker - Platform Research

Further research into existing platforms demonstrated distinct "types" of profile employed by craftspeople. Some makers cultivated a unique aesthetic to draw attention, while others relied more on their personality, sociality, or insights into their making process in order to cultivate interest. I wanted the Maker platform to facilitate all approaches, and furthermore assist craftspeople in identifying and developing their own unique style and approach, something which no current platform does.

Maker - Products

A range of physical products further blur the lines between craft and social media. 'Peek' lives overhead in the workplace or studio, allowing potential customers to 'peek' inside, as if looking through a shop window. 'Gander' lives on a desktop or worktable, capturing an insight into craft process from the makers perspective, while 'Yap' facilitates live interaction between maker and followers by broadcasting into the space. Products can be used individually or in combination to support each makers distinct personality or style.

Self-Initiated Project – ‘Exchange Your Props’

The left image presents an exhibition space showcasing the work of Artists in Tramway. The right is the storage room full of exhibition props and waste which usually ends up in landfill. By holding meetings with different exhibition Curators, I immersed myself into these temporary environments that experience a lot of throughput of resources. I found this to be the grey area that is not in the public’s attention.

By creating insight cards with information gathered from the curators and the field and desk research, I found that showcase props are often used for a shorter amount of time than the initial time which takes to create them. The fast schedules of exhibition spaces make it difficult for Curators to take time to reflect on the finished shows.

Mapping out the current material journey in Tramway, from the initial dialog which takes place between the Artist and the Curator during planning, right through to the deconstruction of the exhibition and the storing and dispersal of props and resources. Doing this, helped me understand where key opportunities are along with the economic limitations within the current system.

What if different exhibition spaces and their Curators could be working much closer with each other? Creating a network of exchangeable exhibition props could be an opportunity to make resources and props more visible across the different sectors. In order to explore this further I began developing opportunities in the form of three-dimensional landscapes and exhibition environments. Each environment represents different scenarios within which resources are exchanged, re-purposed or stored.

A “Virtual” catalogue, allowing the exchange of already built props between different exhibition spaces. Helping Curators access already built props from other exhibition spaces, and so reducing the need to build new ones. Allowing them to plan more effectively, as well as, bringing more awareness by changing the initial dialog between the Curator and the Artist from “We can build this…” to “We can use this…”

Future Experiences Project – ‘Wove In’

'Wove In' is a waste material system within the Global South that preserves craft skills across generations and communities to produce innovative, sustainably sensitive products of the future. The hands were cast to symbolise the two distinct skills of the Innovators and the Artisans within this system, as each work differently with the waste material.

The precious craft of basketry within the Global South is woven through generations. It is passed along a continuous thread from mother to daughter in order to protect and preserve the old art form. By dissecting the basket, I wanted to further understand the traditional method and extract the material from which the basket was weaved.

Returning to insights gathered during our group work along with the valuable sessions conducted with specialists where I found that there is an untapped potential in the capabilities of the crafts people within the Global South.

A Graphic development of 'Wove In' Logo. Combining elements of different stages, starting from the waste material, then traditional craft of weaving, that are both intertwined into a new form of innovative craft through technological advances. Forming the logo that represents a space for collaboration between two diverse disciplines and generations.

The ‘Wove In’ system map symbolises the journey of the waste material and intersection between the two disciplines. The system creates an opportunity for the Artisans to continue passing their skills. Their weaving techniques are translated in an innovative way where the end products of such collaboration promote the cultivation of artisanal spirit of preservation, whilst pushing the boundaries of the traditional handcraft.

The Habitat Education and Restoration Agency (H.E.R.A.)

The Habitat Education and Restoration Agency (H.E.R.A.) draws attention to how our environment influences our behavioural habits and makes a statement that wellbeing and future thinking should no longer be a luxury. This speculative system is placed in a preferable future within an area between the urban and the rural, called the Sustainable Belt, dedicated to educating the population on sustainable and symbiotic living. The selection of artefacts makes up a personalised introductory kit for newcomers to the Sustainable Belt. In a tangible manner, it manifests the identity of the traveller and becomes a support mechanism throughout their stay.

With the move to a self-sufficient sustainable environment, H.E.R.A. aims to shift people’s understanding and relationships with their land. As a future vision of sustainable work practice on a micro and macro level, it puts the responsibility of creating a healthier landscape on each individual across society. This environmental structure could be implemented around every major city and would engage each citizen through an obligatory service, along with a possibility of gradually revisiting the compounds throughout their life. Through habitual practice, H.E.R.A. aims to strengthen and restore the lost connection to our landscape.

Driven to create an environmental heritage through rituals, I began drafting scenarios of a preferable future and asking 'what kind of world would we want to live in'? Critical discussions with sustainable development experts accentuated the fact that wellbeing and future thinking is a luxury that is not affordable for many, especially in the Global South. The aim of the project was to then make sustainable practice and knowledge accessible to all; ultimately making it a societal value.

At the developmental stage of the project, I have explored with various system mapping techniques to contextualise the proposal of the H.E.R.A. system. 3D pop up maps were an effective design tool for engaging and testing the user journey with the Sustainable Futures of Africa (SFA) network. By physically allowing experts to go through the matrix, they gradually explored how participants would transfer to the new environment, and have their profile run through Hera, an AI that then proposed suitable activities based on their skills, strengths and individualities.

By giving each citizen the chance to devote a stage of their lifetime to the Sustainable Belt, this government-funded organisation shows how an environmentally conscious mindset could spread across society. The project aims to equip and empower people to gain and grow their ecological knowledge and develop sustainable habitual behaviour that then can impact their local communities. The pictured H.E.R.A. application acts as a progress journal, archiving all data and materials gathered throughout the completed activities and workshops; acting as a memoir of the stay, with accessible expertise knowledge that participants can build on.

IO

IO is a speculative project inspired by the Japanese notion of Ma (間), defined as ‘in-betweenness’, ‘negative space’ or ‘time-space’, and proposes an experiential response to the modern fast-paced society. Its value lies in provoking and challenging society to re-think our relationship with time and societal expectations of meeting the ever-increasing speed instilled by modern economies. It envisions a future where ultimately technology is the last resource for stimulating an introspective hiatus. IO becomes a new form of public-facing intelligence, designed to create an unexpected moment of in-betweenness and reflection, by creating a one-off emotional connection with a stranger initiated by facial recognition and shaped by social data. This personalised Ma moment targets the overstimulated and inattentive, to disrupt the fast-paced rhythm of society.

IO takes place in a future scenario where technology becomes an all-round life companion. With new forms of intelligence introduced to understand and learn about its users, facial recognition becomes ubiquitous and socialising took on the form of 'separate togetherness’. Such alternative futures were created in the process of drawing out a spectrum of society's future responses to the tensions of fast-paced city life. Personas were curated based on emerging behavioural habits in interviewed stakeholders that identified as being negatively affected by the lifestyle, depended on technology for mental repose and were put into stress at the moment of inaction.

With the objective to explore how the metropolitan environment instils a draining rhythm, I decided to engage in the practice of flânerie and explore how psychogeography can aid in gathering insights and design opportunities. While mapping my journey and taking documentation of my encounters, tensions and spontaneous moments of Ma, I came across this black panel guarding off a construction site; static on the background of the bustling city. This shocking juxtaposition enforced a sudden pause and contemplation, where ultimately I found myself in a spatial in-betweenness.

Challenging existing systems using ideologies that often take on relational meaning was difficult at first to imagine. Participatory methods of involving stakeholders in materialising this abstract concept became useful in contextualising Ma and exploring tangible interpretations. By provoking people to think in these abstractions, I was pleasantly surprised to observe 'Ma' becoming a new universal term and human value amongst my participants. Critical discussions with Japanese designers made me realise how momentous Ma is in Japanese everyday life and how it can be utilised for gaining a wider perspective.

With technological advances and work-focused lives, people have less time to reflect on their lives as they become dominated by the need to act, to be online, to deliver, which ultimately causes a desensitisation to our environment, a feeling of ennui and fragmented attention across society. Technology gave us the possibility to always be connected and never feel alone. The key value of IO is that it disrupts this preconceived notion by letting us be alone for a brief quiet moment and to just think about yourselves. It provokes a discussion surrounding existing societal norms, how those affect our wellbeing and how in relation the role of technology might change in the future.

Future Experiences - Musi Co.

Musi Co. is a brand that connects people through creative waste management. Cultivating relationships between communities, individuals, and nature across the world by channelling art and music as represented in the logo. Leading to inspiring stories that bring people together through a collective effort; the concept of recycling generates a force for change in communities and around the globe.

Subscribe for Connectivity

Musi Co. teaches people to treasure the waste that engulfs our urban environments, as a subscription service it spreads culture and worth. Users receive access to playlists of music jams online. Musi Co. subscribers receive a portable device pod that allows them the opportunity to record their own sounds from waste and send them to be mixed. Users save their favourite tunes on the pod to listen on the go.

Future of Opportunities

The service creates various opportunities for employment, as people are needed to gather materials, build the instruments, manage subscribers, and oversee the service’s operation. Participants in the Global South collect useful waste materials work and craft to construct and convert these into unique musical instruments from the recycled materials. Producing music with these instruments have a direct stake in reducing waste and reusing discarded materials while influencing future solid waste management habits and practices.

Making a Change

A main value of my project was to connect people from around the world. I focused on mutual connections with the aim to create reciprocal relationships. Meanwhile it was important to harness value of culture, sustainability, and resourcefulness. The cycle of Musi Co. offers opportunities and job roles at each stage of the service.

One Man`s Trash...

This sharing of music with members in different countries creates a global network united by a passion for music and a desire to create culture from waste. “The message of this experiment touched me because of the empowering effect a group can have on individuals and communities through their innovative and creative use of discarded objects.” Vanessa

Self Initiated Young at Heart

My Young at Heart project explores and expands on how design can overcome and improve the social issue surrounding isolation and loneliness in the older generation. My aim is to use design to enhance and normalise how generations can communicate and interact. I plan to explore and challenge methods of design interaction through artefacts, technology, and events for an intergenerational outcome.

Ageism is Discrimination

I explored ageism as a way of understanding isolation and loneliness within the elder demographic. It was important to gain personal views from the older users and compare them to how younger generations reflect on the stigmas, in addition to current statistics. Throughout the research process I received a tide of inspirational views, that reflected a motivational mindset, these inspired me to push boundaries.

Information to Insight

This research method was most appropriate to gain a span of insights. From not only what the user answers but the manner in which they articulate the tasks. I used the cultural probe as a communication method; daily tasks to gain insights on users’ routines, activities, and what sparks interest. Using a variety of artefacts as methods of communication allowed user to express themselves in different manners, enhancing intrigue and exploring methods.

Stay Connected

With covid19 circumstances, I have continued methods of communication. Exploring how generations of people can not only communicate but interact when mobility and personal interactions are comprimised. Ranging from personal, to physical to mental activities and methods, these ongiong probes have opened my projects value into how we can continue and adpat the manners of interacting with older generations.

Intergenerational Connections

My aim is to expand the mindset and manners in how we interact with older generations. Integrating generations will prevent loneliness and isolation among elderly. Using both physical artefacts and tech to create a physical and meaningful intergenerational relationship through impact of experimental design. The impact of these respected, reciprocal relationships spreads awareness, value and positively adapt an intergenerational attitude of communications.

Future Experiences- ‘E-Cycle’

The issue I wanted to deal with when tasked with designing a sustainable development for the future Global South was the exponentially growing amount of electronics in landfills, also called ‘e-waste’. This map shows the amount of e-waste (per capita) produced in each African country, as well as the state of e-waste regulations in that country.

E-Cycle- 'The E-Waste Boys'

In Ghana young men burn e-waste to extract valuable metals from rubber and plastic housings, an extremely toxic and dangerous process. The estimated value of e-waste sitting in landfills globally is 60 billion euros.

E-Cycle- 'Repair Knowledge'

Repairmen in Africa create agency, by turning trash into tech, and fixing electronics. They are the keepers of repair knowledge.

E-Cycle- 'Expert Input'

Speaking to the experts about what I’ve learned about e-waste from my desktop research. I spent the previous day disassembling as much e-waste as I could get my hands on to better understand the ease of disassembly as well as the salvageability of the components

E-Cycle- 'Creating a Cycle

E-Cycle is a brand that employs local repairpersons and other community members, who repair tech and teach workshops with the goal of closing the e-waste cycle, and keeping valuable resources out of the landfill.

Self-Initiated Project- 'Teaching Critical Thinking'

For my self initiated project I decided to look into critical thinking in public education from the point of view of the teacher.

Teaching Critical Thinking- 'Educator Interviews'

I interviewed dozens of educators of all different levels, private and public. Two common themes appeared; the overuse of standardized testing, and lack of teacher/student autonomy.

Teaching Critical Thinking- 'Making Sense of Insights'

I gathered all of the insights that I gained from my desktop research/interviews, and plotted it onto a chart, so I could understand how different elements of nursery, primary, and secondary could be better tailored to nurture critical thinking.

Teaching Critical Thinking- 'A Prototype Mockup'

My latest prototype for a final design is a small booklet that helps teachers nurture and support the critical thinking abilities of their students.

Plastic Community

I visited Eigg to research the ocean waste with the aim of empowering the community by finding value in the materials. The outcome is a service that gives the community the means of utilising the waste for their future needs. An example of this could be the potential for plastic to repair road surfaces impacted by significant erosion.

Plastic Community

My visit to Eigg and speaking with the islanders allowed me to clearly understand their wants, needs and fears. This enabled me to build a future map constructed from my research. The empowerment of the community was important to me, I wanted to give them the knowledge and enable them to find value in the marine plastic. A market space would allow the islanders with their future roles (for their future needs), or own individual needs to meet and exchange materials with other islanders, and they can make what they need to thrive as a community.

Plastic Community

I became closely acquainted with the islanders, their resourcefulness, the varied roles they take on, not only to survive but thrive. I got to understand their feelings towards the marine waste. From anger to fear, the islanders felt passionately. I wanted to turn this into an advantage for this rural community. I thought, what if I could create something that would allow them to know the material’s potential, and they could do it themselves, outside of mainland councils. Discovering each of the islanders have a ‘craft’ of their own, as well as other roles within the community. This drove my material testing to design materials around the islands future needs and therefore its future roles. Photographs from our trip shot by Charlotte Elcock, photographer, Communication Design @ GSA. Instagram: charlarts

Plastic Community

I collected a variety of marine plastic from Eigg, brought it back and tested the material’s potential. From my research however what was most important was empowering the community tackling the fears they had for the future. I wanted the materials to be capable of helping them in a large scale, their infrastructure for example. With future development the marine plastic could be used within agriculture – polytunnel’s for example to develop their crop yields and reduce imported goods.

Plastic Community

I created an initial model that shows 3 suggestions I have for material use. The model includes the market (front, centre), the waste shop (mid right) – which has the encyclopaedia as well as the machines and tools to mould the materials to their needs. The road shows how the marine waste could be used for road maintenance such as pot holes or to create a new road entirely. The houses (centre, left) indicate the other uses. Insulation from polystyrene and house tiles. My outcome was based on my research on Eigg, however Eigg acts as an exemplar community to inspire and educate other small, rural communities. Eigg resident, Hannah Morrison - “Our best work is education, especially in the school I myself remember being shocked going to high school and realizing that climate change education was not such a huge part of anyone else’s schooling.” More information can be found here.

Bio-vase

The Bio-vase tackles the many issues associated with current cooking practices in rural areas, the biggest being indoor air pollution and its impact on the health of residents and our climate. Biogas provides an alternative source of clean domestic energy that helps to mitigate the emission of dangerous greenhouse gases. The Bio-vase service encourages users to create clean energy using household waste.

Bio-vase

This gif shows the experience. Throughout the development of my project it was important for the user to understand the value of their waste so that it was meaningful to them. This is also significant so the user knows when they have excess energy, and it can be shared with friends or neighbours. This importance of shared access to clean energy and self-sufficiency was made clear at the very beginning of our research. GIF 1. ( Waste is also collected from the local farmer to ensure enough energy production) 4. (Each time waste is added to the digester the biogas measure rises)

Bio-vase

This project gave us the opportunity to explore the underlying complexities regarding sustainable futures, post-capitalism, to envision a future world context. From our initial group research the lack of access to clean energy in the global south was major. This is ultimately why we designed an off-grid rural community that was self-sufficient. My individual project focuses on the production of domestic energy after discovering extremely alarming statistics on the dangers of indoor air pollution, a few of which I illustrate above. Furthermore, the change in climate will affect energy production, highlighting the necessity for a variety of energy production methods

Bio-vase

Throughout the process it was challenging trying to design for people I had never met or places I understood so little about. However through meetings with experts from Sustainable Futures in Africa I gained a perspective I desperately needed.

Bio-vase

The artefacts are made by the local entrepreneur from locally sourced and recycled materials. The vase can be decorated uniquely by the individuals and can be displayed as decoration to celebrate clean cooking. More information can be found here.

Metaphors For Everyday Life, User Group Workshop

A stakeholder workshop that used metaphors to develop a narrative involving independent thought and questioning skills, prompting discussion and exploration surrounding the experiences of individuals with disabilities. This task involved the children creating their own world full of obstacles and then creating solutions on how to tackle them. The aim was to challenge the children to use asset-based thinking and problem solving.

Case Study and Mood Research for Semantics and Context

Mood boards and case studies informed the design direction in the discovery and defining stage of this self-initiated project.

Understanding and exploring a possible context for the design intervention.

I took visual notes of the classroom environment, the configuration of the learning space and how the relationships and connections are made within it.

Scenario Landscape

A scenario landscape illustrating the current environment, contexts and stakeholders. There are moments of friction (highlighted in yellow) which are where a design intervention could be implemented.

Impact and response from the target user group

The children engaged and responded to the stimuli, creating their own context and solving the problems put in their way.

Local Coin Product Video

A promotional video explaining Local Coin and the contents of the Local Coin digital platform. The digital platform works alongside a digital wallet in the form of a 'Local Coin' that a Local Coin user used to trade. All of the transactions made using a Local Coin are stored in the digital platform. This information is collated to inform users on where sustainable and local trade is taking place and connects distant communities with the common goal of localising trade and empowering rural communities.

Work in Progress

Designing the experience of the users.

Stakeholder Interaction

Meeting the experts. During this final Expert Input Day, I was able to share a detailed explanation of my concept and design direction. The experts gave specific and detailed commentary on my concept.

Developing Appearance Models

Coin iterations made from organic materials like coffee and sand mixed with resin. Wearable iterations made from plaster and an iteration of the appearance models.

'TASIP'

A visualisation of the final product in use.

‘TASIP’ Product Video

This little animation shows how ‘TASIP’ can help to value food and broaden children’s taste awareness by introducing and getting used to new tastes, thus, ultimately creating new food habits and enriching the taste culture and intelligence (c 2,5 min).

Context

What if there would be a way to know how the food tastes even before eating it? The narrative shows a moment with design opportunities (c 1 min).

Early User Engagement

A visualisation of user interviews and experiments with the key quote that sparked the interest and informed the project.

Project Inspirations

Early inspiration and theme exploration. Looking at the broader area of food and emphasising on areas of focus and some key issues around the chosen theme.

'Toolstool' Experience Video

An animated story board of the project outcome. ‘Toolstool’ invites people from any community which experiences a social disintegration, unheard voices and the loss of roots to start the discussion of mutual aims and goals. The kit is used as a workshop starter which creates platforms for people from different societal groups to exchange knowledge and eventually come together into the same room. The thoughts and ideas of the communities are built into a dialogue that takes the form of an exhibition.

Project Contexts and Insights

What does a Christmas cake have to do with conservation of cultural knowledge and heritage? This visual mind-map illustrates the journey of thoughts around the developing theme and design opportunities of my project. It highlights the key insights of the external experts that the project was informed and inspired by.

Product Prototype

A visualisation of ‘Toolstool’ and its packaging being constructed.

Project Value

An illustration of the ‘Toolstool’ experience’s ultimate value. By creating situations where stories can be shared, the kit works as a conversation facilitator for exchanging the cultural heritage and knowledge between global and local communities.

Self-Initiated Project - 'Urban Memorial'

“An accessible multimedia motion chair to enable the remembering of deceased loved ones through creative, immersive engagement in mementos and other kinds of remains”

Self-Initiated Project - 'Urban Memorial'

For city-dwelling people who want to remember their loved ones, but find it difficult to access both the specific memorial site (such as a grave, especially if it’s overseas) and even any peaceful reflective local space that suits their needs within their own busy city. This person wants to have a richer reflective experience concerning their departed loved ones that contrasts with the daily distractions of the city.

Self-Initiated Project - 'Urban Memorial'

Contemporary life is becoming increasingly urban - more people are living in cities and their lives are increasingly busy making it difficult to make space for traditional acts of remembrance - especially when these acts require traveling great distances out of the city. Yet there is still a need to deal with emotional and rational responses to death - not just in one moment (often at the point of internment), but as a regular aspect of daily life.

Self-Initiated Project - 'Urban Memorial'

There are currently important city-based sites that function as places where the living and the dead can be brought into healthy proximity. However, such places require a large amount of inner-city space - is unlikely to be preserved in the future as city populations expand and cities themselves become more densely populated. Indeed, space is already becoming an issue for the nonliving: graveyards themselves are becoming full and there will be insufficient land in which to bury the dead. Moreover, how we live now is very different to the days in which traditional burial and remembrance practices were created.

Self-Initiated Project - Drawings

People are more internationally mobile - moving across the world to study and work and becoming less physically attached to their traditional home regions, often consolidating their movements to urban centers. This presents a designable moment: how might a product serve these mobile people in ways that static, singular memorial sites (such as graves) do not? People are more time-limited, which curtails their ability to make long journeys to these static sites. Nevertheless, people still have the desire and need to connect in some way with these sites. This presents another designable moment: how can we preserve the deeply affecting aspects of time-consuming pilgrimage for increasingly time-limited people?

Future Experience Project - 'EmpowHer'

EmpowHer is a kit aimed at young girls going through first menstruation in the Global South to provide education and physical resources to help them through the transition and also to provide context and education for older and younger generations of women. When the daughter approaches the age where she may have her period, the mom can sign up for this program. The kit includes reusable menstrual pads, menstrual pad DIY, information of menstruation cycle, a disease tester, hygiene products, a pouch, and a bottle with brush cap and dirt filter.

Future Experience Project - Drawings

My project will help to normalize menstruation. Turn the process from scary into anticipatory, and begin to teach women how their bodies will be changing and what they will need to stay happy and healthy. The kits will begin to build up a culture of women supporting each other and celebrating their bodies. This show girls that having a period is normal, there will be less shame and more opportunity to seek out resources. The goal is to reduce stigma and get young girls comfortable with the ideas. We will create a positive experience for their first menstruation moment.

Future Experience Project - Drawings

Future Experience Project - 'EmpowHer'

Future Experience Project - 'EmpowHer'

My final prototype is a kit aimed at women going through menstruation in the GS to provide education and physical resources to help them through the transition and also to provide context and education for older and younger generations of women.

Future Experiences - Mutua

Mutua is a subsidiary of the United Nations in response to Goal 17 which involves the revitalisation of partnerships between the Global North and the Global South. The objective of the design intervention is to create Technology Ambassador roles around the world to provide guidance to companies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), educating them on how to sustainably and empathetically implement new technology.

Mutua - Technology Ambassadors

The project aims to promote a more fluid exchange of technological knowledge, not only from the people and companies implementing the technology, but also from those living in the Global South. These people may be able to guide the Global North on how to effectively up-cycle and repurpose technology that might otherwise be deemed obsolete.

Mutua - The Mobility of Future Communication

After working in a group to create a model for the sustainable mobility of communication we envisioned for 2030 we individually set about creating our own proposals. I continued with the proposition of having digital gatekeeping roles put in place to assess the flow of digital information between a range of stakeholders. I wanted to pursue this idea further to explore how new technology could be sustainably realised in places that wouldn’t otherwise have access or resources to enable it.

Mutua - Exchange of Knowledge

In effect Mutua would act as a platform for creating positive, ethical and environmentally friendly change within the domain of both global and local technology use. Through a network of trained Technology Ambassadors, accessible for hire by large organisations, exists the possibility to provide meaningful technological solutions to communities who in turn may share their insights and geographical-specific knowledge to these companies.

Self-Initiated - Scentimental

Dementia is the 5th biggest killer in the world and alongside old age is the only killer with no form of treatment or cure. Scentimental is a human-centred brand that accompanies an individual through their experience of living with dementia and aims to comfort them, improve their quality of life and reduce the onus on carers and family members to look after them in the later stages.

Scentimental - Exercising the Mind

As a brand orientated towards both improving the quality of life and slowing down the onset of the degenerative disease Scentimental aims to utilise the sense of smell to allow individuals to engage better with their memories. Scentimental is divided into three layers of user engagement, designed not only to aid the individual, but to provide them with an independence that benefits their mental and physical wellbeing as well as that of their carers and family members.

Scentimental - Portfolio of Scent

After being diagnosed with dementia a doctor would introduce Scentimental to the individual and their family members, inviting them to attend a session at their local Scent Lab. Here the family would learn about the disease and tackle the surrounding stigma before working with a scent expert to create a ‘Portfolio of Scent’ based on the individual’s memories and life experiences.

Scentimental - The Olfactory System

To educate myself on the olfactory system I visited a scent library where I discovered how combinations of different molecules can replicate smells that we associate with specific memories (e.g. the smell of suncream reminding you of a particular holiday). ‘Scent is very subjective and very personal, there isn’t really that universal language where one scent means the same for everyone. How we interpret scent is based on our cultural and life experiences… in terms of using scent as a cue to trigger memories the scent will have to have been created with that individual’s life experience in mind.’ (Clara Weale, The Library of Olfactive Material, Glasgow)

Scentimental - Diffuser Iterations, Jesmonite

In the later stage of the disease when symptoms have worsened Scentimental will create individualised diffusers and essential oils based on the information generated at the Scent Lab. These diffusers can be placed around the home and used to both trigger happy memories and as prompts to help the individual navigate their home or the activities of daily living. The diffusers are made from lava rock which is recognised for its healing properties and grounding, calming qualities. As a porous rock it’s a good material for holding and diffusing oils, slowly releasing their fragrances over a long period of time.

Scentimental - The Treatment of Tomorrow

Scentimental at this point fades into the background and the family is left with a method for helping the individual continue to live their life to the fullest in the comfort of their own home. As people progressively live longer I believe it is vital for me as a designer to create experiences such as Scentimental that challenge the conventional norms of dementia care and work alongside scientists and healthcare services in a cross-disciplinary effort to provide the treatment of tomorrow.