• A bowl of Comfort

A community service regarding preparedness for unpredictable disasters in the city.

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Community school project: Hyojin Lee (Graphic designer), Funan Fina (Industrial designer)

Our conceptual project aimed to improve Vancouver's downtown eastside community's disaster preparedness by promoting congee as a food of resilience. We designed a service comprising an emergency cooking kit and a mobile cart to facilitate community practice in the area.

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Timeline

2020, 2 weeks

The User

The resident lives in downtown Eastside

My role and who I work with

UX/UI designer collaborating with a graphic designer, and an industrial designer

Tool Used

Adobe XD (desktop, tablet, mobile)

Challenges

How can we foster community preparedness and provide cultural-specific comfort activities in advance of unexpected disasters?

How can we equip individuals with emergency resources and create safe spaces during disaster situations?

Solution

We employed design methods to simplify complex problems and develop a user-friendly solution. We created a service system operates in a cyclical manner, capable of adapting to unpredictable disaster situations.

Impact and results

It was a pleasure to be able to present/showcase our conceptual ideas of "A Bowl of Comfort" to the 312 main & Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs buildings.

We were excited to receive a lot of positive comments from the audience. And we are all proud of delivering the amount of work during a very short period of time. ( two weeks - no joke !)

Design-process
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Background

Disaster Preparedness Kit and Station for the DTES Communities in Vancouver BC

In times of unexpected disasters, people may experience intense and unpredictable emotions, particularly if they lack internet access or are unable to respond promptly. We propose providing workshops and safe spaces that offer training and emotional support for individuals of all backgrounds to prepare for such situations.

Warm, Nourishing, Comforting, Sharing

Introuction2

Introduction

The prototype begins at the home screen, and then brings awareness to the importance of preparedness for unpredictable disaster in the city. 

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Translation

The website provides multiple language translations for different user cultural backgrounds. Hover on the flag button to switching between different languages.

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Service

The service section gives details and information on how the emergency kit and mobile station service works.

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Guidebook

Both online and offline guidebook allows user to have a digital copy for individuals and have more accessibility when they don't have a physical copy of the guidebook in-hands.

How did we get there?

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Research • Ideate

Growing up in Hong Kong and later in Canada, congee was a familiar and ubiquitous meal for me and my family. While it was often served as a simple, filling option, it also held a special place in our hearts as a source of comfort and warmth, whether we were feeling unwell or simply enjoying a meal together.

I grew up eating rice porridge/congee, and every culture has its version.


We view congee/porridge as a symbol of resilience, as it is a sustainable and widely consumed food across cultures that is easy to prepare. This makes it an ideal food choice for disaster preparedness and for fostering community practices that cater to diverse cultural contexts.

Research • Direction

To improve our design for a resilience space in the DTES community, we established principles to guide decisions.

Insights:

  • Emotions can hinder decision-making during unexpected situations.
  • Workshops empower individuals to prepare for unexpected events.
  • The diverse DTES community may face language barriers due to various cultural backgrounds.
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Design Goal

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Inclusivity
Welcome to different cultures, gender, and races/ ethnicity.

Accessibility
Considered usability across the different channels, including saturation without the internet.

Shareable
Share resilience together as a community.

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 A day to forage outside

Our foraging activities aimed to identify natural resources that could be incorporated into emergency kits for locals. Through thorough research on the types of grains and plant locations in Vancouver, we were able to organize the information needed to include in the emergency kits.

(More research: https://docs.google.com/document/d/12fJRttBdiYyWf9WnsVFQctf6r9_TwNDNQSy8abq3lrE/edit )

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Insights:

  • Blackberries are abundant in the Vancouver area.
  • Vancouver experiences continuous rainfall, offering rich natural resources like rainwater (watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BqQ_KvMeGM).
  • Numerous community gardens provide opportunities for environmentally and socially sustainable activities, promoting community resilience, especially during disasters.

Concept Ideation

concept-map
User-Experience-Map
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Mockup for the emergency cooking kit

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Frist, we planned and sewed a mockup to check patterns and parts locations.
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Before, we start sewing the parts together. We made a sample mockup for testing
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We picked a waterproof , and reuseable material as the kit
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We asked to help a professional sewer for the finial mockup-double side zipper
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We visited the sewing shop for multiple times and here is the completed verison
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Amazing work from Funan!
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(Before disaster)

The "Congee Day" workshop will run three times a week at 312 Main, offering participants a free congee meal. During the workshop, users can share recipes and ingredients while enjoying a communal meal. Participants can also receive a congee kit at the end of the workshop, which they can replenish with grains until the next workshop.

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Mobile Station (During disaster)

The mobile congee station, located at 312 Main, will be staffed by volunteers using grains gathered from participants' congee kits to cook congee. This station will be involved in indoor and outdoor congee-making events, and has been designed to be portable and easily transportable throughout the city. It features rainwater filter storage, cooking pots, and emergency cooking kits.

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Emergency Cooking Kit

• Accessibility

Not only digital but a physical kit will get information to each individual about supplies, available resources, and the importance of the community.

Mobile-Congee-Cart

Mobile congee cart

• Shareable

The Mobile Congee Cart is actively participating in congee making indoor and outdoor events - it is approaching to design a portable station that can be easily transported to share resilience with the communities.

website

Digital Service

• Inclusivity

The website provides options to switch languages for the non-English speaking user to minimize barriers to miscommunication. 

Reflection

Insights • Key Learnings

Understand our privilege and how can we make contributions

It was a great privilege for us to use our design skillsets to give back to the community we all love. Realizing how many values we can share with the community.

On multi-taksing and time managment

Despite time and resource constraints, we managed the project efficiently by dividing tasks and providing feedback to each other. In the end, we even produced physical print materials for the audience.

Game chang·er

I am grateful to have worked with a team that prioritized inclusive design. Our team was diverse, with unique perspectives and skill sets, including an industrial designer, a communication designer, and myself as an interaction designer. Meeting passionate individuals from the same school changed how I approach my design decisions and consider the needs of users beyond my own perspective.

If you like my work, drop me a line to say hi .If you like my work, drop me a line to say hi .If you like my work, drop me a line to say hi .

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