29 January 2021 News

What if Lab: Studenten x Corona

Last autumn, students were considered the main spreaders of the coronavirus leading to the second wave. They were said to not be too strict in obeying the regulations. Is it true that young people behave recklessly? Or do the restrictions also affect their lives more? In What if Lab: Students x Corona three design studios have been asked to investigate the main difficulties students encounter and come up with design solutions to offer students perspective and accordingly motivate them to comply with the measures better.

At the request of the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (OCW) and Municipality of Eindhoven, What if Lab started its research on how we can involve students more in the task of reducing the number of COVID-19 infections in early January, together with design innovation agency Six Fingers.

With the insights and results gained from the masterclass, the desk research, the ethnographic research amongst the target group, and various student house sessions, the design questions has meanwhile been refined further:

How can we offer students sufficient guidance, perspective, and alternatives during corona, so that they stay motivated to continue to comply with the measures?

Part of the ethnographic research: "a day in your life"
Part of the ethnographic research: “a day in your life”
Quotes from the ethnographic research
Quotes from the ethnographic research

Given the urgency of the process, the participating design studios were approached directly. Each design studio has been selected based on specific qualities with which they can contribute to different phases of the design process:

  • Social designer and researcher Shay Raviv is mainly responsible for the research and exploration phase;
  • Designer and visual artist Manon van Hoeckel is committed to the concept design and co-creation;
  • The Reuringdienst is in charge of the experiments and prototypes to test the concepts with the target group.

There has been and will be close collaboration with students during the entire process. In addition to connecting with the target group directly, several local educational institutions are connected as (cooperation)partners: TU/e, Summa College, Fontys Hogescholen, Sint Lucas, and Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE).

In the coming weeks, the three design studios will convert their insights from the research and exploration phase to concrete concepts to test among the target group.