On an onwards direction, the rest of the week will see the solution through iterative refinement processes as many times as the time constraint allow.
The studio interim presentations saw the beginning of this week and determined the workload in the following days to come. In order to bring the lecturer up to speed, I gave the same presentation as the last was with only very little alterations. At this point in time I have taken into consideration the clientele feedback and also factored in my interest in a direction between the two I initially proposed. Due to my interest in the adaptability of the space between everyday use and emergency cases, the concept that I have chosen to be the focus of refinement is the cube concept. A useful lecturer feedback was that the matyroshka design principle might not be the best to implement if the central intent is the no-fuss reconfiguration of the space to suit both everyday needs and emergency situations.
Indeed, the matryoshka design principle does little to improve the packability of the furniture, and therefore does not enhance the adaptability of the space between different uses. It fulfills the need of the modular system to be space efficient but falls short in terms of its need for swiftness in its assembly and disassembly. In the following days, exploration in better methods to achieve space efficiency without compromising quick reconfiguration will be undertaken, to determine the best possible solution.
What drew me in to the brief in the first place is the interest in the complexity that the emergency aspect brings, and rediscovering this aspect within the constraints of the new brief became the drive and motivation in the ideation phase of my design process. However I was also mildly interested in protecting the quiet space and providing a more individual reprieve within the space.
I was interested in the idea of a cocoon and being enclosed within your own space and truly being able to be away from the goings on of the hospital environment, but much more attached in creating a modular system created replicated in mass volume within the space to enable users to create their own spaces in accordance to their needs.
The central focus of this week is easily the interim client presentations wherein the feedback given was immensely valuable in moving forward.
Our meeting with the Emergency Department clinical director Anil brought about a change in the scope of the brief, as redevelopment plans for the Emergency Department included its expansion through the Atrium enjoining with the storage rooms behind it.
Though considering that this critical information does not bode well for our future is an exaggeration, it does not ring far from what we felt. The amended brief entails that we continue to make use of the insights that we have gathered but resituate it up one level in a space adjacent to the café and consider the replication of the concept in other public spaces within the hospital and beyond.
With a week left prior to our client interim presentation, carved out for us was a tight space in which we were to repurpose and transfer our research and insights as a driver for a slightly different brief. Although slightly demotivating, we needed to trudge on and find encouragement and anticipate possibilities in the positive aspects akin to the new scope of the brief.
Another method of gathering data was in a passive manner and was carried out by setting up a comment box within the space. We were able to gain valuable feedback from the users and passers-by of the space, not only confirming our observations but also adding multiple layers of understanding of the situation.
Furthermore, the emergency set up walk through with Terinna gave yet another layer of understanding the complexity that the reconfiguration of the space to cater for emergency overflows should a major incident in Auckland happen add.
Altogether, our gathered user insights enabled us to develop personas that are more true to the actual users of the space and for the first time, we both have found the merit in empathy mapping, a tool that supposedly allow us to bring about another layer of understanding and empathy by ‘putting on someone else’s shoes’.
The weekend to follow finds us collaboratively writing what we have identified as the core needs of the core users of the space, and from that itemized insights that have merit in them.
Anticipating another clientele meet in the following week to come, we decided to write our mission statement however leaving it unset in concrete, as there may be valuable information that might add to the scope of our brief.
Through thorough project planning, we were able to form a schedule in which to guide our design process, pushing us to wait no longer in uncovering a rich contextual background that will be a companion in designing solutions that will fulfil the needs that will no doubt become apparent, as it is akin to such a complex brief.
To gain a better understanding of our brief we set out in our agenda to carry out mass interviews with important connections within the healthcare industry, and in particular the Auckland Emergency Department staff of the ADHB, Grafton Campus.
A basic understanding was formed that there are two major uses of the Atrium Space, of which are the day to day use of staff members during their breaks and also in hopefully more rare cases of emergency overflow, of which can come in different types and sizes. In further detail, the space on a daily basis serve as a brief reprieve for staff members of which are spent either alone or as social gatherings with workmates who share the same lunch periods as them.
My initial interest in the brief was the emergency aspect of the brief and we both found merit in engaging with further information to be provided in the succeeding interviews and an emergency set up walk through with Terinna Ihaia, the facilities manager, to be carried out next week.
X3, the industry based project encompasses the rest of the semester, in which Charlotte Dickson and I, collaborate with the Auckland District Health Board and AUT’s very own DHW Lab (Design for Health and Wellbeing), to tackle a project that rethinks the Level 2 Atrium space in the ADHB Grafton Campus.
The brief asks us to discover the daily use of the space, latent needs should there be any, and maintain the adaptability of the space as it serves also as an overflow area for emergency cases such as major incidents.
This week allowed us to gain familiarity with the brief and the space which essentially embodies the focus of our project. We also met with our primary contact, Justin Kennedy-Good, who gave a thorough introduction to the brief.
Prior to our very first site visit and client meeting, we ruled out some assumptions about the brief in general, its constraints and also the space itself.
We acknowledge the large scope of our brief and though a little overwhelmed, we are ready for the challenge. The emergency aspect of the brief particularly, will be a major influence and driver to the outcome.
The following two weeks will be spent dedicated in fabricating an understanding on the brief context.