An alternative model for emergency volunteering
ABSTRACT: Unanticipated disasters produce challenges that threaten human life, but also human rights and social justice. Designers are responsible for deploying creative strategies that respond to the changing conditions of such situations in crisis. Utilizing a collaborative approach, we employed an Alternative Unknowns method to facilitate designers working across disciplines to investigate, experiment, propose, and test systems. The concept is articulated through research, ideation, prototyping, and visual service map.
Concept: Dear Neighbor
A service design proposal in the public space for local communities of New York to feel empowered by instilling a sense of civic duty; informing and connecting them to support each other during a time of hardship. Through the service, users harness their personality traits to begin establishing a sense of community in their neighborhoods before an event of a disaster.
Collateral components include a service kiosk with user engagement touchpoints, identification badges, and communication devices for community engagement. The process below highlights phases of discovery, development, and simulation of the proposal.
The small clip displays potential human engagement during blue sky days. Below is a sketch of a user blueprint highlighting key user engagement touchpoints.
Collateral for Service
"We researched historical urban disaster case studies as well as the strategies devised to manage them. Each case was studied through the lens of the four-stage emergency cycle; preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. Looking into newly developed or deployed tactics, technologies, and policies in each case, we scanned to understand what worked and what didn’t. Therefore, we identified the failings challenges that still must be worked on as we confront the possibility of dealing with these situations in New York. Our main focus was on understanding the social justice implications in these emergency scenarios, particularly in regard to resource distribution and language access.
Our investigations into human caused disasters such as the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and naturally-occurring events such as the 2015 earthquake in Nepal brought us valuable insights on successes and failures of past events. As the second part of the research, our team shared individual observations to identify patterns and grouped them according to recurring themes to be addressed in moving forward: context systems of organization, community, memory, communication, information and psychology." – Transdisciplinary Studio, Fall 2016
Inspiring Insights for Dear Neighbor
Research Synthesis & Stakeholder Analysis
Before the concept development, team members independently drafted potential response ideations in case of a natural disaster. Some were tangible products, and others were human-centered services. Using a service-pairing exercise, we were able to construct a response system containing both tangible products and a human-centered design service.
Variations of the kiosk and collateral were developed from 2D cardstock ideas and then quickly transformed into 3D prototypes. The kiosk was composed of 3D applications composed of matboard and cardboard. Additional resources used were acrylic material and vinyl adhesives.
Early Wireframing (Note: Click Interaction Accessible)
Through Parsons School of Design, teams of designers collaborated to perform a disaster preparedness simulation of their project proposals at The High Line in NYC. Stakeholders, guests, and the public were invited to participate and evaluate the projects. The simulation took attendees through a before, during and post-stage of a disaster using marked boundaries, sound installation, and designed prompts. Each stage introduced the respective design proposal. Dear Neighbor was simulated during each stage.