The challenge for this project was to use design to bring the generations together. The RSA Challenge was to design a product, environment or service that eases the isolation and loneliness of older people by uniting them with people of different generations through shared interests or needs. Our aim was to understand how different generations, especially parents from the baby-boomer generation and their children from Generation Y, communicate with each other over distance. One of our main insights was that the way we communicate with each other has changed and it affects us as people and the relationships we have with each other.  We concluded that there is a real need for encouraging all generations to continue to engage with deep thought, form emotional connections and understand the limitations of rapid and shallow communication.

My focus in this project was creating a structure and taking the role of the general motivator of the team. The concepting process was quite organic – each of us contributed ideas that formed the foundation of the project, and then broke off to work on various pieces before coming together to present our work. My main contribution was the written report, which detailed the project context,  aims,  methods,  outcomes and beneficiaries as well as the project schedule.

This was the first project in the Msc Design Ethnography Master program in which we worked in a team alongside the Master of Design students and it exposed the challenges but also the benefits of working in an interdisciplinary team. I enjoyed working as a team communicator and learned about communicating with people with different approaches and how to use those unique skill sets to drive a project forward. I also improved my research skills by understanding and approaching research as a creative practice.

Understand different angles one can take to a design challenge // Design research methods and social research for design enquiry // Communicate findings clearly in final presentation // Critical review and reflection

MSc Design Ethnography 2011 – 2012 (Design Research Module)
October 2011

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