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Send designers and makers: Designers Without Boarders

A key theme from this weekends #FightingEbola challenge in Washington DC was the power of bringing design, maker and subject matter expert talent together in real time. Designers are good at reframing problems and makers are good at building prototypes. Could they be deployed to help create process and object solutions in real time?

Photo of Nick Dawson
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Some of these groups already exist: 
Designers without Boarders
Design without Boarders
MASS design 

Other's might be willing to voulenteer expertese. 

The idea is to engage designers closer to the point of need. Worth noting, this can still be at a safe distance. But the key is to get people with design expertese closer to the research and empathy phases. Let them reframe problems. 

For instance, this weekend, we focused largely on improving the PPE. One group asked instead: how might we make the time spent in the PPE more effective. That group identified 10+ areas of futher study and brainstomring from medication delivery to administrative support. 

Critical to the process was the ability to quickly run ideas and paper prototypes past subject matter experts. "Hey doc, would this help you do more in the time you have in the suite?..." 

Closing the gap —in terms of distance and time —between design and the work seems to be very powerful. 


Join the conversation:

Photo of Deborah Paterson

Hi Nick, one of the things which really empowers designers is the access to rapid user feedback, you're absolutely right. How can we enable designers an designers to do what they do best, while also not pulling resources from care settings? What new methods might we use to extract user behavior information?

The maker community would be such a valuable resource to tap into - perhaps engaging maker media like - would help get the word out too :)

Photo of Deborah Parsons

Great news, we reached out to the makezine this morning. There is a series coming out over the next few in days makezine penned by Travis Good who also attended the DC Techshop event.

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