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 can be articulated through a visual service map, research, ideation, and prototyping.
Concept: Dear Neighbor
Create an engagement service 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 are able to use their personality traits to begin establishing community in their own neighborhoods. Collateral components include a service kiosk with user engagement touchpoints, identification badges, and communication devices for community engagement.
Visual Service Map
Our team approach was to create a service before there is a need to build community during a disaster. The small clip below displays human engagement with a service design proposal.
Inspiring Case Studies
Type of disasters that were researched and synthesized were: man-made, earthquake, tsunami, flooding, disease, storm, and heatwave.
Synthesis: Stages of Disaster
After synthesizing our secondary research, we were able to identify four stages of disaster.
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 tangible ideas. The kiosk was composed with 3D applications and the material was made from matboard and cardboard. Additional material used were acrylic material and vinyl adhesives.