JUNCTION FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Year: 2016
Supported by: St. Margaret's House, Roman Road Trust
Award: Nominated for the Helen Hamlyn Design Award, 2016.
Exhibition: 'Show RCA 2016' and 'Service Design Fringe Festival' during London Design Week, 2016. 
Project type: Group.
During the six months, we carried out desk research, idea development, and prototype. I took charge of field research, conducting workshops, insight synthesising, design strategy and direction, business, partnership engagement, promotion, film editing, animation, illustration, and interactive installation.

 

PROJECT BACKGROUND

This project has been inspired by the many issues of gentrification that I found out during the time working on my dissertation and crucially its impact on community spirit. Bethnal Green is one of the main areas encountering gentrification in London and this was the reason for starting our community-based project there. Throughout an in-depth research period over 3 months, we gathered substantial information through observation, interviews, problem identification and workshops with local people.

 

FIELD RESEARCH

I was in charge of the research and design strategy part in this project. The research phase includes desk research and qualitative research. I carried out listenings (user research) and field research with the community organiser from St. Margaret’s House and met over 150 local people to understand what they really enjoy doing in the area as well as their concerns. I conducted interviews, carried out problem identification, co-creation, and validation workshops with them. In order to make the service inclusive, I strived to engage people from children to elderlies and include as many backgrounds as possible. 

I would show my support with paying towards events to raise money for various things in the area. - James (30) Young professional
Bethnal Green has lots of resources, you can imagine so many future possibilities. - Marium (43) Mum with two kids
People are too busy to command and not to communicate and people tend to draw their own boundary. - Lauren (68) Retired
I would like to know more information about local events, groups, and news. - Joanna (23) Weekend Visitor

We mapped out 5 key types of resources that have the opportunity to be developed further in the first graphic through field research. The second graphic shows the places where people know and enjoy. There is a gap between available local resources and the resources that people actually use. This finding feeds into two of our insights - Information channels are fragmented, and lack of integration among physical and human resources.

 

KEY FINDINGS

Throughout an in-depth research period over 3 months, 3 key problems in this area emerged: Fragmented information channels, lack of supportive programmes, and inadequate integrated resources. Those insight has been transformed into design strategy and actual service that got plenty of positive feedback from local people on service pilot day.

01. Fragmented information channels

Information channels are fragmented because the community doesn’t know what events are happening and St. Margaret’s House doesn’t particularly know what the community might need.

02. Lack of supportive programmes

Supportive programmes in which people can contribute their talents and share their experience are not very common.

03. Inadequate integrated resources

We noticed a gap between the capabilities of local people and the awareness of physical resources in the area

 

IDEA GENERATION AND PROTOTYPING

In order to design a service that responds to local people's need. We co-create and validate the service with local people and visitors and developed a MVP on pilot day. There are 6 workshops that has been conducted so far.

THE DESIGN

After reviewing our research and identifying these problems, we came up with our community-based service, JUNCTION for Bethnal Green and Bow. JUNCTION is a community-based service that includes programmes and a website that can be delivered in a diverse array of community hubs.

The programmes and the website are designed to empower local people to share their thoughts and potentially take that further to increase their engagement. This connects and navigates people through community amenities and human resources. It can also be achieved via a bottom-up approach with people uploading their photos and thoughts in order to share their local experience and connect with others in their area.

 Service Structure

Service Structure

 Programme 1: Share your news and thoughts

Programme 1: Share your news and thoughts

  Programme 2:  Enjoy and propose activities

Programme 2: Enjoy and propose activities

  Programme  3: Share your story map

Programme 3: Share your story map

 How it works: point system (social and economic credits)

How it works: point system (social and economic credits)