As a part of a Disruptive Design project team at DSI, I ideated on ways to improve the experiences of vulnerable senior populations in New York City with respect to accessing food. Our goal was to develop recommendations to fulfill the unmet food requirements of homeless seniors. We volunteered with a soup kitchen, Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries, who became our advisors through the process.
Conducted design research with a team of five.
Built relationships with food pantries to facilitate research activities.
Created weekly field guides for research.
Developed research prototypes and probes to derive insights about the unmet needs of the homeless seniors.
Emerged as a de facto process manager and ensured that everyone in the team felt included.
Based on NYC council committee reports, a little over 200,000 New Yorkers age 65 and older are living below the poverty level, and a significant fraction of that population is homeless. The miseries of homelessness are exacerbated for these people, especially with respect to their access to food, with most of them experiencing an increased number of barriers to 3 hot meals a day. This often leads to hunger and malnutrition, which are especially dangerous for their age due to decreased resistance to ailments and heightened possibilities of degenerative diseases. Despite an increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment in the last 3 years, most of these seniors are unsure of their eligibility for the same, or are unaware of it.
This project was a final assignment for a disruptive design class at the MFA Design for Social Innovation program at SVA. We were required to research the access to food for homeless senior citizens in New York City. We had to identify a design opportunity to develop a prototype for an intervention that would address the problem at a systematic level.
How might we improve the experience of vulnerable senior populations? How might we improve homeless seniors’ food access?
Instructional Designer, Content Designer, Communication Design
May 2017 - September 2018
OBSERVATION, INTERVIEW, PROBES
PLANNING THE RESEARCH
Insights & Pain points