Design Thinking is a vital tool for the wicked problem of social justice, as its human-centered methodologies are diversity-, equity-, and inclusion-centered. However, the history of Design Thinking often spotlights the work of a few (white and male) writers, crafting a homogenous and linear creation story. As a way to de-center whiteness and craft a fuller, deeper understanding of Design Thinking’s epistemologies, its tenets, and its potential, Cassidy C Browning weaves strands of practices and theories from women of color, feminist thought, queer people of color, Hip Hop, and Jazz. In order to maximize the liberatory potential of Design Thinking, this article is grounded in the current U.S. moment, identifies specific practices to employ, and questions who is considered a designer, what counts as design, and what histories we choose.
Games have an unusual power as an interactive medium. They say a picture is worth a thousand words — how many more might it be worth when you can interact with, manipulate, and get feedback from the image you see? Playing a game is like having a conversation; you put a bit of yourself in, and you get something new and unique in return. This article will look at examples of how games can impact people on an individual and societal level and how a well-designed gaming experience can bring about positive change in our lives. From bringing families and friends closer together and connecting strangers across the globe to making science more accessible and innovating how we teach and learn, games have an incredible potential to change the human experience.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic caught us off-guard, it did not have to be that way. We have access to the two most powerful tools available to us today: data and accessibility. Yet governments still struggled to identify and reach out to the high-risk population. Health records of individuals are available across hospitals, but government bodies can’t access them due to concerns around privacy and misuse. Design and technology can play an important role in filling in the gaps and converting available data into consumable and actionable insights to lessen the impact.
Can virtual reality be the future of diversity and inclusion training? With the power to transport users, VR has the potential to increase a narrative’s persuasiveness. Immersive media can replicate difficult scenarios in which participants may practice skills acquired in training. Three professors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are using VR capabilities to pioneer Diversity and Inclusion Virtual Reality (DIVR), a measurable, accessible, and sustainable VR-based diversity and inclusion training program.
With the pandemic ravaging many emerging economies, the need for physical distancing is becoming ever important. Billions need to be digitally equipped to ensure they are not socially distanced and have access to vital information and basic needs. Even though smartphones are becoming cheaper along with data plans, not all citizens in countries like India are online or even have a smartphone. There is a huge digital divide between the next billion users, who are expected to rush online to avoid being left out during the pandemic. This article looks at designing for the next billion users and the challenges around designing for them.
How might we leverage self-efficacy to increase adoption and scalability of design thinking for social change? One studio-based initiative helped build design thinking self-efficacy among non-designers in order to prepare them to scale social change within one Texas school district. This article outlines how a team of design thinking educators carefully crafted the studio to feed four established sources of self-efficacy: mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and emotional physiological states. Such efforts increase adoption and scalability of design thinking for social change.
While COVID-19 disrupted the practice of medicine across the globe, pre-clinical medical students, not yet trained to volunteer on the front lines, searched for ways to channel their unique expertise to serve communities outside of the hospital. This article details how four Dell Medical students led interprofessional teams of undergraduate students in prototyping biomedical devices, including a strength assessment tool for use in telehealth appointments and a low-cost pneumatic ventilator for emergency situations. It also discusses the challenges and solutions the students found while navigating the design process virtually.
Dr. Thomas Ungar is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto and the psychiatrist-in-chief at St. Michael’s Hospital, part of Unity Health Toronto. In this interview, Journal editor Nada Dorman talks with Dr. Ungar about prostates, the pandemic and how design can change the future of mental health.
Crisis situations spotlight system failures and require us to rapidly innovate and adapt in response. When it comes to health, COVID-19 has emphasized broader issues in the health system and has shown how focusing on health care alone is not enough. Holistic and whole-person considerations—spanning brain health, food access, and economic security, etc.—are essential to community health. Based on work done at the Design Institute for Health during COVID-19, a team of health designers shares lessons they learned from adapting community services to the crisis and how designers might learn from the discipline of social work to champion solutions that broaden equity and access.
The core of the Gembah mission is to demystify and democratize the product creation process. They believe product innovation shouldn't exist only in stuffy boardrooms or behind the closed doors of heavily capitalized companies. Their process allows bootstrapping entrepreneurs and small businesses alike to innovate alongside Gembah's team of deeply experienced product designers, researchers, and manufacturing experts to bring their product vision to life. The beautiful thing about e-commerce and product development is its borderless nature. Gembah's workflows leverage resources internationally, including boots-on-the-ground experts worldwide, to help people turn concepts into a workable, market-ready product.