Why it’s vital to maintain and encourage our blue spaces

Close your eyes and picture your happy place. Where do you go? What do you see? For me, I’m somewhere secluded, standing on a beach listening to the crashing ocean with the sea breeze blowing my hair.

Ocean image with birds in Australia
Ocean image with birds in Australia
Image from my archives

Regardless of where you pictured yourself, I’d bet you were in nature, and maybe even by the water too. I mean who doesn’t feel instantly happy when they’re near the water?

Water is quite literally life giving, and is arguably the most important physical resources the earth possesses. It’s no surprise then that…

Since the start of the pandemic over one year ago, there have been various measures put in place to control and discourage the spread of the virus, with travel behaviors being greatly impacted by these restrictions. Our mobility has therefore reflected new routines and patterns of working from home, and socializing from behind a screen.

At the same time however, there remain many reasons for continuing to move through our cities. What impact has the pandemic had therefore on modes of travel, reasons for travel, and what does this say about the future of mobility post pandemic?

The pandemic may…

… and why it matters

On a recent run I listened to one of 99% invisible’s older podcast episodes titled “Curb Cuts”. It got me thinking. The episode starts with a story about a wheelchair, and the man who used that wheelchair. His name was Ed Roberts. Ed had Polio, and was paralyzed below the neck, making his need for a wheelchair a necessity if he wanted to get around. While this was somewhat liberating for him, he still required an attendant to push him in the chair, and help up sidewalks and other obstacles that are present while traversing a city.

In the first photo: Ed Roberts on the Berkeley Campus In the second photo: Ed Roberts at a protest holding a sign which reads ”civil rights for disabled.”
In the first photo: Ed Roberts on the Berkeley Campus In the second photo: Ed Roberts at a protest holding a sign which reads ”civil rights for disabled.”
Image from: https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/curb-cuts/

You see, cities…

The journey from research to design ideation

“To find ideas, find problems. To find problems, talk to people.”

Julie Zhou

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a big problem. There is an overwhelming level of rejection amongst applicants wanting to immigrate to Canada. This was what we were told early on to the research process, but what we later discovered is there is a lot more going on than just rejection levels. The process of immigration itself holds significant usability issues, and the constraints of form design, and a slow shift to digitize all characterize an applicant’s journey applying to immigrate to Canada.

This research focused…

An interactive Adobe XD prototype of an android application designed for Youth in inner-city Johannesburg.

“How might we provide access to safe and inclusive green spaces for youth of inner-city neighborhoods in Johannesburg, South Africa?”

The problem statement above targets the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal #11 for Sustainable cities and communities — more specifically #11.7 which is to provide access to safe and inclusive green spaces and parks.

The following will lay out my activities, and thoughts behind the design process which led to my final XD prototype of the android application.

Building Empathy

The first step was to establish empathy with my target user group. This was done using an empathy map. Since I would not be interviewing the target…

A Case Study — Wheelchair Basketball Canada (WBC)

How might we embrace the complexity of the wheelchair?

Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the non-profit governing body that organizes and promotes the sport in Canada and represents Canada in the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (WBF, 2020). Canada is a country with a rich history of success in wheelchair basketball.

The research methodology for this case study was participatory data collection methods with four categories of participants. The data was collected through four remote focus group sessions due to constraints of the pandemic. Focus group A consists of 3 WBC executives. Group B…

Emilie Isch

Human-Centered Designer

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