D’source Corona Design Challenge
The Coronavirus pandemic (technically termed COVID-19 by the WHO), while unfortunate and calamitous in its occurrence, has also thrown open opportunities for the design community to play a meaningful role in mitigating and containing its effects. While the problem is a universal one, framing the problem for designing may require both global as well as local sensibilities.
What do we know for sure about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic today?
We know that its effects are not only global in breath on account of the fact that the virus has managed to travel across the length and breath of the globe through movements of people and goods, the virus has also penetrated every aspect of life on this planet throwing our everyday lives out of gear, not sparing even the lives of those who had not traveled, nor sparing the lives of animals (for instance, a tiger in NYC zoo has tested positive having been infected by its caretaker).
We also know that there is an unintended consequence of the Coronavirus that is replete with irony. Which is that the lock downs having unwittingly slowed down the process of “modern” life has now pointed to the larger, acute and extremely timely realization that by drastically limiting use of resources and movements (of both people and things), we are finally seeing the earth rejuvenate to the point of being able to breathe.
This grave realization underscores the sad fact that, as humans, we had collectively chosen to ignore and forget that Nature is an evolutionary reality, functioning and manifesting itself as an interconnected natural system.
By imperiling this otherwise balanced ecosystem through our reckless ways we have actually endangered our own existence. And ironically, it has taken an invisible, seemingly innocuous virus to remind us yet again that this carefully evolved natural system needs to be treated with care.
If we take this valuable realization as history in its making, then we also know that any design intervention will henceforth need to respect this big picture, and by doing so, we are bound to render solutions that are sustainable, rather than short-lived.
The D’Source Corona Design Challenge (DCDC) as an initiative:
Against this broad, calamitous yet reflective context we need you to brainstorm and look for opportunities where design can now make a difference.
We welcome you to this D’source Corona Design Challenge in seeking creative, innovative, out-of-the-box solutions.
We encourage you to follow a design process in solving the given problem with the steps of understanding the problem, analysis and idealization (the act of coming up with several concepts) resulting in a final solution. This is with the intention that your solutions are based on sound judgment. We request you to seek guidance from your faculty and professionals in the process of solving the problem. (If you need to do user research, do restrict it to online feedback and discussions).
To this effect, ten design problem areas have been identified. You may choose to work on one or more than one area. You also have a choice of working on a problem that you have identified on your own.
To this effect, nine design problem areas have been identified. You may choose to work on one or more than one area.
Additionally, you have a choice of identifying your own design problem area that is outside of the nine areas listed above.