How is context for design established in a world that can change overnight? Third-year OCAD U Industrial Design students explore the intricacies of designing for health in a pandemic, delving into the mental and physical human needs of a socially-distanced world.
The Digital Age has bridged the gap between humans and virtually anything, and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, our reliance on digital communication and digital consumption has never been more apparent. But what happens when our sense of product, person and place departs from physical experiences? How do we conceptualize and design materialities of care in a world that is increasingly immaterial? What shapes do our designs take when we expand our scope from the singular user to networks of users? What are the socio-economic implications of a design in a socially-distanced, work-from-home context? How can we learn from challenges and experiences of “the now” to extend our designs into an unpredictable future?
The exhibition features self-directed term projects with recontextualizations of healthcare prompted by the challenges faced during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and informed by the nuances of the human experience at the individual level and the collective level. Following the exhibitions opening, participating students will host an online panel discussion to expand upon their process leading to the exhibited solutions, followed by reflections addressing concepts of flexibility, agility, inclusivity and design within the ever-changing “new normal”.
The online exhibition will run throughout the duration of the DesignTO Festival.
The panel will stream live on the exhibition site via YouTube on Saturday, January 23 at 4 pm. Although the panel discussion will be an open invitation livestream, we would like to encourage registration for up to date information on the ‘Micro/Macro’ website launch and panel.