Experience Based Design: Healthcare

Public institutions are often criticized as being bureaucratic, inefficient, or ineffective at fulfilling the purposes they are designed to do, compared with private, user-centric, industries. Often in the case of public institutions, individuals have no opportunity to choose a better product, as is the case in the private sector. That therefore leaves little incentive to innovate the design of public services. However initiatives are not absent. ThinkPublic, a social design agency, has worked with hospitals in the UK to redesign the National Health Service to become a more patient-centered public service. Their experience based design methodology involves individuals’ experiences, existing and aspirational, in the design process. Interviews, videos, photographs, journals, and web blogs of patients, carers, and hospital staff have all been used to design new, patient-centered, solutions for several difficult areas of health care, while simultaneously encouraging patients, carers, and staff to work together to address problems.
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Designing Communities for Social Sustainability

slums in Mumbai

Population growth is going to have profound impacts on politics, economics, and society in the coming decades, one issue being the basic question: Where are we going to put these people? “UN surveys indicate that…by 2030 over two billion people in the world will be living in slums, with the associated problems of poor sanitation, and access to healthcare and education,” reports a paper put forth by Future Communities. Some cities have been addressing the issues of poverty and expanding slums by creating brand new empty settlements developed in anticipation of population growth. However some initiatives are aspiring for more than economic, or even environmental, viability; they are designing communicative, relational, and trust-building communities.
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