11/02/21–25/03/21 (6 weeks)
📃Brief: Design a way to mitigate the effects of loneliness.
🤝Group Members: Damul Yang, Huijie Xiong (Rikkie), Maria Carolina Séves, Sue An, Yiwei Han (David).
👁🗨External Partner: R/GA — Zoha Zoya, Matt Chokshi.
Focusing on the effects of loneliness
Based on all the feedback from last week, we realised that we needed to be clear about exactly what kind of loneliness effects we wanted to mitigate, what specific type of people they were based on, and to think about how to achieve the relief. Zoya and Matt suggested that we could try to focus on underserved groups or specific situations.
Cat and Maria suggested that the issue of loneliness among international students abroad was an area worth exploring. So we reviewed the previous storytelling with a sample of international students around us and carefully analysed the causes of their loneliness and the effects of it. We have found that most of the effects of international student loneliness result from a series of processes that continue to produce new results.
New Idea — The Nostalgia Box
In new research in the literature, we have again found that nostalgia can help people combat loneliness. The emotion of nostalgia can help alleviate loneliness by enhancing people’s social relationships with their past, boosting social connections and positive emotions. It may be possible to generate nostalgia to help international students who are new to an unfamiliar environment/culture adapt better to their new surroundings.
I came up with the idea of a nostalgic phone booth where international students could check out a variety of different nostalgic items and share stories to inspire nostalgia and increase their connection to the city.
Referring to the advent calendar, Sue and Damul came up with the idea of a nostalgia box for family and friends to create a nostalgia box containing different sensory experiences for international students who can open the box and feel the nostalgia when they are lonely. Our group decided to continue with this idea.
Prototype & Speed Dating
We created a simple prototype and storyboard and interviewed the audience about the idea. We found that the sentiment of nostalgia does not always have only positive effects, but sometimes negative ones. Also, whether the format of the nostalgia pack was redundant or cumbersome (compared to, for example, direct telephone contact).
Such products perhaps run the risk of making young people increasingly socially inept, and we realise it is important not to focus on maintaining relationships with the past but to encourage audiences to go out and adapt to new environments.
In the presentation, the partners appreciated our process of testing quickly and getting “failures”. the tutor suggested we think about how to “go out”, and how these theories can lead people to develop new relationships in new environments.