OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Promoting Social Distancing and Peer Connection Through Fashion

"Look Don't Touch" is an online community dedicated to bringing a sense of normalcy to college students around the country.

Photo of Andre O’Quinn
0 0

Written by

We are an interactive, digital lookbook and lifestyle guide for students that intends to promote healthy social distancing practices while engaging people's creativity and supporting their everyday health. By providing fact-checked information, thought-provoking and user-submitted stories and tutorials, and creative inspiration to students, we aim to give our users a sense of normalcy as we approach further degrees of uncertainty in returning to everyday life.

What is the need are you focusing on?

Our project is intended to address two gaps that we currently see during the COVID-19 crisis -- a lack of intuitive, collated sources of information for making and wearing PPE, and the prolonged impact that social distancing can have on one's creative expression and their resulting mental health.

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Sharing a pivot idea your organization is considering or could consider

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

The pivot that we are considering will provide an online, curated platform in which students from all over the country can submit their daily outfits, stories related to COVID-19, and tips and tutorials for coping with certain aspects of the crisis (such as making masks and other PPE). We plan on jumpstarting our Instagram platform with tutorials and outfit inspirations from the team, and aim to source content from our viewers who wish to inspire others while also sharing their own personal endeavors in coping with the crisis at hand. We want to create a community from our platform in which students can approach daily life during the crisis in a way that engages their creativity and encourages social bonding amid physical distancing.

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

We intend for our solution to be a way to alleviate the social isolation and creative gaps that can result from social distancing. We aim to positively impact the way that people engage with the news headlines and policies surrounding COVID-19, and do so in a way that supports people's individual adjustments to normal life. We hope for this solution to impact all college students, and aim to do so by curating a diverse range of content that users can submit to us, which we will then edit to match our brand identity and create a cohesive "story" to represent the ways students are surmounting the global pandemic.

What is the name of your business or organization?

Barnard-Columbia Design for America

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

Barnard-Columbia Design for America (BCDFA) is a chapter of Design for America, an organization dedicated to educating college students about human-centered design through community-driven action.

What is your profession?


Where are you located (country)?

United States

Where are you located (region)?

  • North America

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Education
  • Non-Profit/Philanthropy

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 11-49

How old is your business/company?

  • 5-10 years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Nonprofit/NGO

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Private Sector
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Grassroots/Community Groups

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • No

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

Our main barriers are the size of our team (we currently have five members volunteering to spearhead the project). Another issue is the limits to the reach of our project due to the vastness of Instagram as a platform.

If you are currently working on a pivot, what have you learned so far?

We have learned that despite the challenges of virtual learning, there are many ways for us to meaningfully engage with Barnard/Columbia students and beyond through social media.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

We are aware of efforts made for communal resource pooling by nonprofits like The New Fashion Initiative, and are currently finding ways to get involved in the space.


Join the conversation: