COVID-19

Anticipating the Arrival of a Clean-Sensitive Driving Future

ANNICKA CAMPBELL-DOLLAGHAN Rightpoint DR. OMER TSIMHONI General Motors EDWARD GUNDLACH General Motors CAMILLE SHARROW-BLAUM Rightpoint ASHLYNN DENNY Rightpoint A leading automaker needed to safely study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon driver and passenger experience to effectively prioritize future in-vehicle features related to cleanliness. In this case study, we'll share our approach and retrospective learnings on how to understand, contextualize, and anticipate the impact of major societal shifts as they happen. Article citation: 2021 EPIC Proceedings pp 75–90, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic Keywords: Remote Methods, Diary Study, Automotive, COVID-19...

The Future of Business in a Post-COVID Landscape

The future of business in a post-COVID world
Moderator: MARC LAFLEUR, ZS Associates Panelists: JACQUES BARCIA, Institute for the Future; JORGE CAMACHO, Institute for the Future / Diagonal; JENNIFER LEE FUQUA, Ogilvy; DEVON POWERS, Temple University Events of the 18 months have upended questions of the future and, for business, cast a new light on how it might better contemplate and plan for uncertainties. COVID has also opened up a new sense of potential when it comes to re-inventing or designing better or new futures for ourselves, providing a sense of agency and fluidity that had, until recently, seemed less tangible. This panel will engage in this dialogue with the future, particularly as it relates to the future of business and the ways in which business could contemplate, confront and shape the future. Panelists Marc LaFleur believes that at the heart of every business challenge lies a question of human experience. While he has practiced in many industries, Marc has spent much of his career working in the fields of health and life sciences. There, Marc...

The Future of Hygiene: Constructive Expansive Futures

SIDDHARTH KANORIA Quantum Consumer Solutions DIMITRI BERTI Quantum Consumer Solutions CHRISTI KOBIERECKA Unilever There has been significant interest in Futuring as a discipline after COVID-19, as multiple industries are beginning to interrogate their post-Covid future. Quantum Consumer Solutions and Unilever came together to interrogate the post-COVID future of hygiene in Europe, to inform brand and product strategy for Unilever. This project took a culture-first approach to futures, with a diverse and inter-disciplinary team working together using an Agile approach. Using a mixed-methods approach, the team used a combination of digital ethnography, speculative design and an Opportunity Spaces framework to distill the future of hygiene into ten Opportunity Spaces for Unilever. Readers can expect to learn more about why a culture-first approach to futures is recommended, how speculative design could represent an ‘ethnography of the future’ and how a simultaneously analytical and creative approach to futuring could be...

Anticipating Needs: How Adopting Trauma-Informed Methodologies During COVID-19 Influenced Our Work Connecting Frontline Workers To Temporary Housing

MEREDITH HITCHCOCK Airbnb.org SADHIKA JOHNSON Independent (formerly Airbnb) This case study argues that all research should be trauma-informed research. It asserts that because researchers cannot anticipate everything about research participants’ needs, histories, and context, taking an approach that assumes all participants are more likely than not to have experienced trauma should be the paradigm for researchers. Even before receiving formal training in trauma-informed research, incorporating methodologies from trauma-informed research can make all researchers more human-centered. From March–April 2020, researchers from Airbnb conducted research to help launch a program that provided free or discounted accommodations to COVID-19 frontline workers: Frontline Stays. The researchers needed to conduct research with both frontline workers and Airbnb hosts who were temporarily opening their homes to them. Some of the researchers had received formal training in trauma-informed research. Others did not have the training, but...

Holidays and the Anticipation of Ritual

ROB MURRAY IBM PechaKucha Presentation: COVID-19 disrupted so much. It also disrupted rituals, holidays and events on an incredible scale. Many of us lost track of time without these expected markers. But 2021 is all about a new perspective. I found myself anticipating and wanting to engage with rituals as never before. January 2021 was the beginning of a journey to reestablish ritual and patterns of time. I chose to note and celebrate and anticipate simple holidays. This is new territory for me as I did not celebrate holidays to any degree pre-2021. They were noted but I did not really participate. That has changed. The curious researcher in me is on a journey to explore and embrace holidays and ritual. I now anticipate holidays instead of being a passive passenger in time. Calendars adorn my walls and I plan holidays like people plan vacations. And I’m shopping… I think this effort is underpinned by observation. I’m really taking a step back to see these rituals with new eyes. I’m even excited to buy holiday themed...

Anticipating Shared Futures: Emotion, Connection & Relationships

SARAH HEFFERNAN NCAD / Deloitte Digital PechaKucha Presentation—Unprecedented. Unprecedented. Unprecedented. How often did we hear that word at the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic? But was it really unprecedented? We’ve been warned for years that a pandemic was imminent. We know the world has been devastated by them in the past. So why did we declare Covid-19 unprecedented? And why wasn’t there a shared anticipation of it? Reflecting on an idea that was first sparked while working as a bungy jump operator, this PechaKucha explores how facts, figures and predictions are not enough when it comes to helping people anticipate and embrace the unthinkable. This discovery is layered with the grief I experience for a way of life I’ve never lived and the feeling of hope that comes from a futures project that is not about creating something new. Keywords: Futures, Food, Storytelling, Emotion, Connection, Relationships Sarah Heffernan is an award-winning designer and researcher based in Ireland. A curious and thoughtful...

Microbes That Matter

CARRIE YURY Fjord PechaKucha Presentation—While COVID-19 has made the world hyper vigilant about sanitization, I take a bottoms-up perspective on the threats of a microbe-starved world. Telling the story of Clostridium Difficile, I walk us through how—just as in ethnography—context is everything for microbes. Using different examples from the biosphere, I examine how microbial metaphors matter, and I make the case that understanding microbes in the context of larger environments and ecosystems can help move us toward life centered design. This Pecha Kucha uses microbes as a contextual metaphor to argue that it is our responsibility to change our perspective; to decenter the human, and start designing for the health of the entire ecosystem, not just one of the players. The Pecha Kucha includes a set of experience principles for life-centered design. Carrie Yury is a Group Design Director at Accenture Interactive. She is Fjord’s National Design Research lead, responsible for leading the overall quality of design research...

On Being Well in a Time of Hell

MIRA SHAH Spotify CHLOE EVANS Spotify CAMIE STEINHOFF Spotify PechaKucha Presentation—For the past year, people around the world have adjusted quickly to unforeseen constraints presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Upheaval during the pandemic has resulted in a deep sense of grief leaving people in an unpredictable cycle of losing control and attempting to regain it. But, guess what? Researchers also have been experiencing the highs and lows of the pandemic and haven’t been immune to the fulcrum of loss and unexpected buoyancy. In sensing the importance of the moment, a group of researchers came together to learn how people around the world were adjusting and coping, and to anticipate how adaptations in contexts, habits, and tools may lead to enduring changes in everyday life. On Being Well in a Time of Hell is a bricolage from Brazil, Indonesia, and the United States told through diary entries, photos, and drawings that bounce from despair to moments of unexpected connection, creativity, and sometimes, believe it or...

Anticipating the Unanticipated: Ethnography and Crisis Response in the Public Sector

CHRISTINA CHEADLE Stripe Partners HANNAH PATTINSON Surrey County Council This case study emphasizes the importance of ethnographic research in the public sector, specifically regarding emergency preparedness and crisis-response. In the summer of 2020, Surrey County Council in England commissioned a mixed-method Community Impact Assessment to better assist and serve their residents during the Covid-19 pandemic. Stripe Partners conducted the place-based ethnographic work, helping discover insights that led directly to strategy change. The ethnographic and quantitative research went hand-in-hand and led to rich and meaningful insights that were able to confidently convince decision makers to create change. Our ethnographic work validated many of the quantitative findings, while simultaneously providing the depth that allowed them to accurately and most usefully allocate resources for change. We researched how local communities had been affected by Covid, conducting on-the-ground interviews in seven different towns in the region....

Reconfiguring Home: Seeing Remote Work and School through Mothers and Their Children

CHLOE CHANG VINAY KUMAR MYSORE PechaKucha Presentation—What happens when we include children as equal participants? In a project to identify design opportunities to support working mothers during a time when schools have closed across the U.S. in response to COVID-19, we crafted the research to create space for children to voice their needs. What we heard offers opportunities for all parties involved—the designers, the researchers, and the moms who participated. Chloe Chang is a design strategist and researcher who advocates for social justice and equity as the best outcome of any design process. With a background in communication and human-centered design, they work to translate complex narratives and system needs into strategies that are inclusive and sustainable for communities, teams, organizations, and cities. Vinay Kumar Mysore is a parent, design researcher, and hazelnut farmer. Their research interests include community and equity centered design, permaculture, civic engagement, and anti-patriarchy practices. Citation:...

Our ‘New Normal’—The Sensory Landscape

street scene (decorative image)
By shifting from sanitized, frictionless experiences to multisensory, relational landscapes, brands and organizations can help people feel a sense of safety, community, and well-being. by PIERRE LEE and SERENA CHAO, Gemic Sanitization has been a key word during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sanitization not just in terms of cleanliness, but also in terms of the revised interactions people have had with each other and with the environment around them. COVID-19 has created a Sanitized Landscape – supposedly free of germs in the home, cars on the road, and close encounters with other bodies. As parts of the world slowly prepare for a ‘new normal’ post-pandemic, we propose that a fundamental part of this preparing involves looking not through the lens of a Sanitized Landscape, but a Sensory Landscape. This combines traditional senses of smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing with metaphysical perception – senses beyond the traditional that help people feel a sense of safety, comfort, connectedness, and well-being. This shift...

Debugging Distributed Teamwork: New Research

LEISA REICHELT, Chair Atlassian GILLIAN BOWAN Atlassian OWEN HODDA ANZ CHRIS MARMO PaperGiant JARROD PAYNE Atlassian An EPIC2020 Sponsored Panel presented by Atlassian The Atlassian Research & Insights team commissioned a research study that involved thousands of workers across the globe to see how COVID-19 and the sudden shift to working from home has affected them. Atlassian looked inward, too, to find out how Atlassians were impacted by the sudden, lasting change to work remotely. In this panel, moderated by Head of Research & Insights, Leisa Reichelt, the people behind this work will discuss the unanticipated impacts of the pandemic that our research uncovered and how we might all respond going forward. Panelists Leisa Reichelt leads the research and insights team at Atlassian, where they are interested in unleashing the potential of every team. Prior to Atlassian Leisa spent some time working with Government Digital Services, both in Australia and in the UK. In both cases, building research...

Going to Scale: Lessons from the Pandemic

GENEVIEVE BELL Australia National University The pandemic has disrupted everything from the global flow of goods and services, to the actions that individuals can take in their daily lives. It has changed, for now at least, the ecosystems in which we work—impacting both how we think about ethnographic activity and how it is might be used. In Australia, the pandemic has resulted in a collection of massive, unplanned, social experiments in scale, at scale. Examining five of these social experiments as they’ve played out, Genevieve will extract lessons that seem relevant to the work we all do now and to the ways we might want to orient to the future. After all, as the pandemic is demonstrating, scale is neither a stable nor singular concept, and our responses to it will need to be appropriately located and considered. Genevieve Bell is a Distinguished Professor, Director of the 3A Institute (3Ai) and Florence Violet McKenzie Chair at the Australian National University. She is also Vice President and a Senior Fellow at Intel...

Harnessing Empathy To Scale A Healthtech Startup During The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study Of myICUvoice, A Communication Tool Designed For Critical Care

NADYA POHRAN University of Cambridge & SympTech Ltd TIMOTHY BAKER SympTech Ltd SIMON PULMAN-JONES Emergence Now AMY WEATHERUP AJM Enterprises This case study explores the scaling experience of an early-stage healthtech startup company called myICUvoice. During the Covid-19 pandemic, myICUvoice rapidly scaled from a single intensive care environment to being widely used nationally (UK) as well as globally. We explore why and how so many volunteers were motivated to donate their time and expertise to help scale this early stage startup. Specifically, we examine the roles that empathy played throughout the scaling process. There are three distinct types of empathy that we have identified in our story: em-pathos, empathetic understanding, and mass-empathy. These each had a distinct role in driving the startup forward. Importantly, we note that human-centered design (which often focuses almost exclusively on achieving empathetic understanding) will immensely benefit from considering the multiple types, and multi-faceted...

From the Space Station to the Sofa: Scales of Isolation at Work

JO AIKEN University College London/ETHNO-ISS (NASA) ANGELA RAMER HKS Architects Since March 2020, many employees around the world have been forced to work from home due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have experience in working in isolation and confinement. This paper focuses on a comparison of astronauts on the ISS and Earth-bound architects and interior designers restricted to working from home (i.e. their sofas) due to the pandemic. Isolation at work emerges as a complex phenomenon characterized by the measured and perceived distances between physical, social, and temporal spaces. By examining the scale-making activities of NASA and HKS, analogs provide a possible means for studying and predicting the complex dimensions of isolation. The work ecosystem is a useful tool in conceptualizing and operationalizing the employee experience to design the future of work and workspaces. Article citation: 2020 EPIC Proceedings pp 338–355, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic  ...