User Centred Design student wins the IxDA 2021 Student Design Charette

For 2021, the IxDA Student Design Charette (SDC) challenged teams to explore the potential for private data and to enhance global health and wellbeing by asking “How might we achieve greater collective wellbeing through the power of our individual data?”

Loughborough User Centred Design BSc student, Samantha Tung, along with her winning team members Liz Wang from the School of Visual Arts, and Emily VanderMay from the California College of the Arts, responded to the brief by looking at how they can tackle the problem with air pollution.

The construction industry contributes to 14% of dangerous particulates and 11% of greenhouse gas emissions impacting community well-being and global climate. It is also home to the most vulnerable victims of air pollution - outdoor workers who have low awareness of the fatal impact of air pollution until symptoms arise.

Their process as a team involved extensive research on the topic, talking to construction workers and air quality experts, which enabled them to come up with the following insights:

  • Low awareness on the air pollution within the industry
  • Companies are not responsible for the long-term air pollution-related disease
  • There is a gap between individual action and current policies

After collating together their ideas, receiving feedback from potential users and experts, and iterations of design, they came up with a proposal for their solution: Pulsair.

Pulsair collects worker data through wearable sensors, teaches workers ways to protect themselves and reduce their pollution output, as well as inform companies on how to create cleaner work environments and reduce costs. The processed data is also open source to the community and government for tackling pollution.

This short video explains the idea behind the concept.

Speaking of being selected as the winning team and how the award will support in her future career, Samantha explains that:

“It felt that my team’s effort is being recognised. It gave me the confidence that my skills sets are suitable for the field that I am hoping to go in to. It will become a constant reminder of how you can learn a lot and grow in a short amount of time.”

Congratulations to Samantha and her team!