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MDes in Design Innovation and Service Design

Every year we say ‘there’s never been a more important time to study Design Innovation’. This year, that’s especially true.

Watching the response of students to unfolding events has been humbling; even though we have all faced innumerable personal difficulties and frustrations, our students have shown a remarkable stoicism and camaraderie, keeping up a sense of community and mutual support that ensured everybody got through relatively unscathed.

Design Innovation has always been a programme focused on human-centred design – looking at the way the world works and identifying ways it might be better, either through big systemic changes or small interventions that help individuals. The topics we began the year talking about ended up being the ones that everybody was talking about: the future of work and education, the impact of social isolation, the need for better urban transport, attitudes to end of life care, the role of the city environment on mental health and physical wellbeing… and that’s just the start of the list.

These are just some of the topics that became Masters projects – 12-week independent explorations of the world at a human and individual scale. Unlike previous years, there could be no workshops with stakeholders, few face-to-face interviews. People who normally would be happy to participate now had other things to focus on, and even when participants were willing the technology often was not. But along the way, students became masters of Zoom and Miro, comfortable conducting conversations and co-designing at a distance, and making use of whatever space was available to them.

To some extent, the outcomes of these projects are irrelevant (though they really are excellent, as you’ll see). Being a designer and an innovator is not just a matter of a skillset but of a mindset – something very difficult to assess or to teach. And even though the projects developed by this year’s students are equal to those of past cohorts in terms of quality of thinking, insights, and ingenuity, the thing that makes this generation of graduates truly outstanding is the resilience, the mutual support, the empathy, and the good humour they have displayed throughout. It has been a pleasure to teach them, and to learn from them. We couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve achieved and to show it to the world via this digital showcase.

So yes, there has never been a more important time to study design innovation, and there’s never been a more important time to employ innovative designers of the sort you’ll see here in these five programmes. Where we see problems, they see possibilities. And that’s just what we need right now.

Jonathan Baldwin, Programme Leader MDes Design Innovation

Death Avoidance

From early research and interviews, I discovered death is still a taboo topic in many Western societies including the UK. Thinking and talking about dying and death is unlikely unless you've had some experience with it. Most conversations about death happen close to the end of life.

Death as a taboo subject can have substantially negative consequences; unnecessary fear about the process of dying, not receiving preferred treatment and care, and not dying in a preferred place. Families, doctors, and carers often do not have the vocabulary and confidence to talk about it, meaning people are often unaware they are dying in the first place. How can we encourage these conversations to happen earlier to ensure people experience a good death? How can we promote death literacy in the wider society?

Death Literacy

Following further desk research, video interviews, and autoethnography, three key areas for death literacy were identified.

Reflection & conversation: reflecting and discussing end of life wishes and what it means to have a good death.

Knowledge & skills: giving people practical knowledge about supporting themselves and others in having a good death.

Planning & preparation: highlighting the ways and importance of planning for end of life before falling seriously ill.


Roleplay offers a way of building empathy towards the end of life experience. One player would take on the role of the patient while other players would have supportive roles helping the patient through the end of life experience. This would also encourage cooperation rather than competition between players.


To further promote cooperation, the goal is centred around collecting artefacts as a way of winning the game. Each artefact is related to end of life planning to emphasise its importance in real life.


Time advancing symbolises the Patient’s life getting closer to the end. This serves as a reminder that death is inevitable for all of us but that we also have some say on what we want that experience to be like if we take the time to engage with it and plan in advance. That is, for the sake of ourselves and others.


Each card provides a decision or event to advance the story (and game). Content of the cards is related to practical knowledge and resources about end of life to prompt reflection and discussion between the players throughout the game. Humour has also been used to ensure the experience is light and playful, but also informative.


As the prominent death doula Alua Arthur says: ‘Talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about death won’t make you dead’. The Journey could be used as an educational tool in classrooms as part of health education, allowing students to engage and explore relevant resources and knowledge about death with their peers and/or families at home.

Chinese Street Vendor Economy

Chinese street vendor economy

During the period of COVID-19, the Chinese government proposed that street vendors economy can solve the unemployment problem economically. What is the life of street vendors after the introduction of the policy?

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Active Learning for Active Ageing: Brief


User's ecosystem

The diagram presented places mapping by familiarity level or frequency of visiting and type of place. Mostly of sample user would visit neighbour area and public space but rarely visit institutional space except a hospital.

Walking route design framework

9 design criteria for Wandering walk activity


Based on the criteria, The carpet walk is historic and easy to walk from Templeton on Green to Cylde riverwalk and see the carpet in Glasgow Archives at Mitchell Library.

Direct mail

The first touch point of Wandering walk is Wandering Calendar. In the calendar include activity detail, time table (every 2nd and the last Friday's afternoon of every month)

Service Blueprint

What is this?

Be a man Kit

The kit is conformed by: The be a man handbook, a model of male and female sexual organs that help the user to know more about the parts that conform them, and are going to be used to do exercise like how to put a condom; lubricant and “the safe man pocket pack” that is a small wallet with condoms to encourage protection.

Be a man kit

The handbook will be developed with the help of sexologist, phycologist and based on men experience about the taboos and stigmas, and how can we break with this model to stop toxic behaviour that can be translated in violence. The handbook will have, exercises of self-awareness and communication, test to evaluate your behaviours and knowledge and information about pleasure.

Process map

A description of all the process for this project.

Service Design Blue print

Future of the project

The future impact for this project will be developed another platform for women with the same core idea, change the mindset about what is to be a woman. And ones this to the platform had enough reaction will be transformed in source for human behaviours that will have information for both genders.

Web Journey

This diagram explains all the features of the platform and what is the information you can find.

Stakeholders map

This is a general view of all the stakeholders involved in this project, from the expert's stakeholders area, I had the chance to interview Alicia Delicia (sexologist and adult film actress), Claudia de la Garza, Eréndira Derbez (writers of the book No son micro: Machismos cotidianos), Mia Davis (CEO of Talk Tabu), Paula Manners (Rosey Project) and Robert Jensen (Teacher, writer and participant as an expert in the Netflix documentary: Liberated, the new sexual revolution) and more.

HOME ON TAP: Strengthening the sense of community belonging through a pub

This project aims to explore the role of a community pub in creating a sense of community belonging and enhancing social well-being to help reverse the shutdown of a community pub. The proposal is a pub service currently to help the non-regular drinkers who are new to a community build the "Public House" mindset through a community pub. It includes assisting non-regular drinkers aware that a community pub could be an entrance to understand the community, feel welcomed by the regulars, and helping the pub landlords attract more non-regulars, even non-drinkers in the future, increasing their business.

About the Project

In the UK, more than 350,000 people are registered homeless. Looking at the definition of Homelessness, there are other types of homelessness that this number does not represent. According to sources, the data will be doubled if hidden homeless people were to be included in this count. My project is about understanding the challenges that people face while experiencing Hidden Homelessness and how can we provide adequate support so that they do not end up sleeping rough on streets.

Glimpse of the Research

The research was conducted using multiple mediums to facilitate the conversation and gather insights into the current situation around homelessness. Digital Ethnography, Interviews, Workshops and Journey Mapping exercises were some methods brought into play during the research process. The diverse stakeholder group represented policymaking, frontline workers and personal experience to have a holistic perspective about the challenge.

How Might We statements

After the research and synthesis, there were two questions that became the northstar for the project and directed it


The first idea was to create a hand-holding platform that navigates the person out of their homelessness through continuous guidance at each step and provide all the relevant information about essential support organizations (food, showers, storage etc.) on the user-friendly platform. The second concept was of a card game that will become a conversation starter in workplaces as anyone can be hidden homeless and an empathetic workplace is one less thing to worry about for the person experiencing homelessness.

User Testing

User feedback was key in shaping the project. Testing was conducted with multiple stakeholders at different stages to learn about user preferences and ease of use. It was done through in-person testing and online tests depending on their availability and technology access. The feedback from these activities was very insightful and helpful in further iterations for the project.

As every case of homelessness will bring different set of platform requirement, this platform is currently imagined for people very similar to the profile of Fiona and Adam.

Adam's Journey

Continue Reading Adam's Journey

Journey to my Home! is a bridge between all those ‘access points’ and the 'support system' for homelessness. It is made available at the all the places accessed by people experiencing homelessness to have a maximum reach of this information.

How it works?

'Journey to my Home!' is a digital platform that acts as a personal mentor for anyone experiencing homelessness. It is a custom navigator for the user and designs the most appropriate journey for their homelessness after processing answers of some initial questions about personal nature, disability, employment experience and current housing situation.

After processing the answers and understanding the person's circumstances, it breaks down their journey in few steps. For every step (that could be an interaction with a local authority), it provides documents checklist, usual questions and other important information about their contact details, working hours and emergency numbers. The user is asked to record their response for the platform to know any help that might be received by them and what could be the next steps. Learning about the user's experience (with the authority) helps the platform decide their relevance in future journeys and their speciality. With all the essential support (for food, showers, storage etc.) mentioned on the page, it enables the person to quickly access other services that are needed but would not be part of their journey.

Future of the Platform

In the future, this platform will play an integral role in cross-organization communication. It will become an ecosystem that holds trainings and awareness about topics like homelessness and work on behaviour change towards sensitive topics. It will be a secure document repository for homeless people and piloted in other parts of the country.


community resilience

Video: Linkers Talk to me

Linkers -Talk to me: An Invisible relationship sign for tourists in Japan to use. This is an invisible volunteer system. Everyone can become part of it, change your role as a volunteer or tourist. People who arrived in Japan will receive a signed badge. If you want to know the local culture or get help from local people, you could put the “talk to me” badge on your clothes/bags. The local volunteer who has “ask me” badge may see this. It’s a signal to visualize ‘communication’.


Continue Reading XuHAN_stage3_PPJ

Personal privacy protection on social media

Explore the gap between privacy attitudes and privacy behaviors

We are continually experiencing social network privacy leaks. In this case, users should pay attention to their privacy and avoid disclosing their personal information on the Internet. But they did not do so. This is called the "privacy paradox." These are all self-perception biases that lead to these dangerous behaviors. This is also the root cause of the user's privacy attitude in the "privacy paradox" phenomenon because users did not realize that this behavior has potential risks and wrong privacy protection methods. Internet police studio is a leisure and entertainment space that combines online platforms and offline cafes. It aims to help the public raise awareness of privacy protection and understand the value of personal privacy. The studio's official account provides content sharing about privacy experience, real cases, protection methods, and online service consultation with the Internet police. At the same time, the cafe is the offline platform of the internet police studio. Users can get a cup of coffee by sharing their experiences, and they can also communicate with the online police and other users one-on-one offline. In the future, users can also participate in offline workshops, online privacy lectures, or experience some privacy risk mini-games.

1st cover

2nd project details

The page shows the background, main challenge, insights selected and the design concept of this research project.

3rd blueprint

The blueprint shows how the workshop arranged.

Toolkit design-1:2

The page illustrates how to use the toolkit with details information.

Toolkit design-2:2

The page shows the details of the toolkit.

Logic structure - Tips

Logic structure - Anne

"flee in the quake"

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01 Cubee

02 Product Body

03 Activities Paper

04 Process

Positive Practices GS


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Final project Cecilia Zanardini

The sustainable issue in the garment sector: how reduce consumption and the amount of cast-off clothing acting on buyers and companies.

Key concept used for the development : Emotional durability

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The social history code

Redefining and rethinking the furniture' s meaning to people.

Second-hand furniture co-design system


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Adjust Imbalanced Position Between Couriers and Platforms

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the recipe

social media activities



Future Ethical fashion consumption

As we all know, the over-produce and over-consumption in the fashion industry has a huge impact on the living environment.The problem with the current consumer society is that consumer attitudes, values and environmental awareness do not play an important role in determining environmental consumer behavior.Most consumers still prioritize individualism even though they are aware of the serious impact clothing has on society. It is difficult for consumers to build relevant empathy.The recycled behavior can not give them a long-term connection or feedback which is beneficial to them, which leads to a low correlation between attitudes and actual actions.

"How to make consumers change the perception and build empathy for fashion consumption in the nearly future to achieve a long-term sustainability? " This project aims to make more people engaged in the later process of recycling through the design tools and also propose the future vision of the new future ethical fashion consumption mode.

Being sustainable not for sustainability


HMW & Ideation

User journey map

neighborhood "barrier"

I applied the neighbourhood“barrier” idea and design the information for front glass window in Cafetagoo. In this way, the guests passing by can accept the information, besides this is a promotion to the shop



Research part

Desk Research about Culture and history of bikes in China

Filed research

Co-design workshop

This is the first time for me to ran a workshop. I invited four participants to discuss the development of bicycles in China and their own views on bicycles. And asked them to draw an unforgettable story about themselves and bicycles.In this process, I defined problems and brainstormed with participants to find solutions.


My final outcome is a cycling cafe, which is a place that workers often go to, so that more workers can know about cycling through this medium. There are many advertisements of cycling activities in the cafe, and people can book their favorite cycling activities and rent bikes. At the end of the activity leave the feedback of the activity. In the future, I hope that through social media to let more people understand and participate in the Bike Cafe. It can be distributed in every corner of the city. Get communities, companies and government cooperation and support. Also I hope to have the opportunity to work with more bike groups and organizations to provide people with more colorful bicycle activities. Finally, improve Bike Cafe together.

My Project Proposal Journal

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Where they are now?

What are they facing?


User analysis

User Journey Map

Developing the concept

The outcome