Un(Urban) Day 2: Urban Well-being and Human-Centred Design


The second day started off with an enlightening panel session by Neil and Oliver. We learnt about some projects designed to better monitor the environment around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as well as projects that aim to leverage social value and improve social well-being of the people around that area. The panel session was followed by a challenge review whereby groups were asked to develop ways in which Creative Wick (an organization which aims to retain and grow the creative sector by building positive, mutually beneficial relationships with the residential and business communities at the area of Hackney Wick and Fish Island) can mobilize its networks to improve the well-being of the people around the area. Examples of idea proposed include art therapy and art exhibition which increases public awareness of social well-being.

After the lunch break, we had an interactive workshop about Human-Centred Design, conducted by Nissan. The workshop began with a “Spaghetti-Marshmallow Tower Challenge” where we were asked to build a tower using spaghetti sticks as well as limited tape and string, with a marshmallow put on top of the tower. Most of us found the task challenging but we learnt about two important things: 1) it is vital to first understand the problems before we actually design a solution, 2) we can always improve and learn from failures.


A “rare species” that was not destroyed by the big fat marshmallow.


We also learnt about divergent thinking of generating creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions, as well as convergent thinking in which we focus on a specific problem and think of ways to tackle this problem. Both ways of thinking could be used in different stages of problem solving. In groups of three, we developed a persona with specific aspects and needs in their daily commute. Once we have developed the personas, we thought about solutions to tackle the problems faced on their commute. We brainstormed, threw out ideas, organised the ideas into clusters and tried to create connections between the ideas. Overall, the workshop was highly interactive and engaging, providing us with skills and proper procedures involved in problem solving.



An example of character developed was Anjali, an injured student who uses crutches, travels from Zone 3 to UCL by bus and underground every day.



“There are no ideas too wild and no dreams too big”—Anonymous.






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