NMIMS School of Design (SOD) has partnered with Design Laboratory (D-Lab), a collaborative initiative by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) aimed at the application of design frameworks and methods to address the behavioral issues influencing public health, for Remember Now, a research project to gather data that can help individuals and organizations prepare better for future pandemics. Fourteen students from SOD’s B. Des. (Humanising Technology) program participated in the study as field researchers, applying remote ethnography methods to gather data about how people are living, learning, working, and playing while coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, and to identify key barriers and drivers of behavioural change that could lead to meaningful insights. The research was undertaken with the guidance of Prof. Manisha Phadke, Prof. Sameer Tendulkar, and Dr. Shreya Maulik, and in compliance with Harvard’s protocols.
According to the SOD’s press release the information gathered during the study will facilitate the design of objects, services and environments with built-in abilities to detect harmful pathogens, to support people in their daily lives. Remember Now is one of three projects under the D-Lab initiative, Whole Life: Designing Life After COVID-19, which also includes Sketch Tomorrow, a series of brainstorming sessions that leverages expert experience and data from Remember Now to ideate solutions, and Prototype Future, which aims to plan strategies to implement the ideas.
The research undertaken by SOD students for Remember Now has shed light on the Indian diaspora’s diversity of cultural backgrounds and various prejudices. Learnings included the various conditions that influence how people interact with one another, how effectively they are able to adapt their lives to new public health protocols, the various ways people are currently incorporating rituals and celebrations into their lives, and their capacity to revisit various health aspects of their lives.
The preliminary findings have been useful in better understanding how people from various socioeconomic groups and geographic locations maintain their identity, relationships, and contentment during this unusual period. The idea is to use this work as a foundation for improving people’s well-being and assisting organizations in positioning themselves better to combat the next pandemic.Campus, News