NOMINEES

Designing for Dignity
Body category

About

Design solutions that dignify the medico-legal process a victim goes through after a sexual assault.

Detailed Description:
By co-creating with victims of sexual crimes, the medical and legal care teams, social workers and designers; we found critical painpoints in the victims’ path to recovery, which can be improved by: 1 A blanket that secures DNA traces after an assault by giving comfort and support 2 A customized education system with easy language, graphics and a "wise friend" tone 3 Architectural and design guidelines for sexual assault medical centers, which gives a form/space to the victims’ needs

Known drawbacks of design:
We have been careful when testing our prototypes because it is a very sensitive (and many times challenging) user group to test with. However, the fact that everything around sexual violence has been treated with taboos and silence makes us especially determined and creative to find new ways of getting the feedback we need. Involving survivors of sexual violence has provided us with great insights and they can act as a support network and be especially empathic with the new people we need to involve in the design process.

Website:
www.designingfordignity.com

Designed in:
2012

Status of realization:
Prototype

Challenge(s):
Empowerment, Health

Region of use:
Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, South America

Form/Impact/Context

Form
Solutions deliver immaterial values like dignity at 3 scales: 1 The blanket shields victims after an assault while storing dna-traces, specially those in the hands (pockets). Police anticipates using it as a universal blanket for all cases involving evidence, avoiding stigma. It’s dark colors are neutral and non-medical. 2 An anonymous education folder respects the victims’ disclosure. It’s personalized by adding infographic brochures that are relevant to each case. The tone is non-technical alluding to a wise friend rather than an authority position. The process journey is impactful since many cases involve wo(men) from a culture where sexuality is a taboo or the victims are too young. 3 Sexual assault centers have rooms all spread in the hospital resulting in unnecessary trips and exposure. We detected spatial interventions that blend-in gynecological elements; evidence collecting system; and education. The rooms have white sterile areas contrasted with calming colors.

Impact
Sexual violence is a silent crime that no country escapes from. Designing for dignity has concrete impact through its design solutions and strategic relevance within the design process. The key metrics for the design solutions are: improve the victims’ recovery process and the medico-legal satisfaction; increase % of hospital and police visit rates; reduce time in collecting evidence and travel time in the hospital; raise awareness to help break the silence around this topic. The impact of involving every stakeholder connected to sexual violence is that they take ownership on the solutions from the start, facilitating its implementation. Even if Norway is a safe country, sexual crimes are no exceptions. The Oslo hospital takes 1 victim a day and more on weekends, and these are facts; many crimes remain silent with no statistics. Oslo’s problem is small compared to the rest of the world, but it can be used as a testing ground for solutions globally affecting millions of lives.

Context
The World Health Organization 2002 report states that globally, 1 in 4 women will likely experience sexual violence by an intimate partner and 1 in 3 girls report their first sexual experience being forced. Data on sexual violence typically comes from police, clinical settings, NGOs and survey research. The relationship between these sources and the global magnitude of the problem may be viewed as corresponding to an iceberg floating in water. The small visible tip represents cases reported to police, however beneath the surface remains a substantial although unquantified component of the problem. Designing for Dignity focuses on improving the response system to a sexual assault that has already happened, rather than on preventing these crimes. Our goal is to make it easier to get medico-legal help and translate that into more report rates to have more accurate statistics. With a clearer landscape of sexual violence, more significant efforts and resources can be put in place.

Other relevant information
In 2011, the media gave attention to the “Rape Wave” in Oslo. This topic was discussed from high political levels to everyday conversations. We realized that sexual crimes committed on the streets by strangers were easier to report. The un-reported crimes (when the abuser is your father, wife or teacher) are more difficult to speak about. This rape-wave revealed a much bigger and complex problem to solve and we, as young designers, wanted to try to uncover this silent reality.

Business

Proven and/or potential effects:
The dna-storing blanket has the potential to make it easier for the service providers to give comfort to victims in acute cases, while collecting dna traces that can help the forensic team find the perpetrator (if unknown). By giving customized education to victims they can learn whom the people in the process are, their options and make informed decisions. They can learn how to deal with emotions and how to get care from family, friends and support networks. The space integrates the victim’s needs, since most of the ideas were based on solving their painpoints. Communicating this importance raises awareness on this subject and can make it easier to talk about it and get help. The greatest impact the orchestrated design solutions can have is to break the taboo of sexual violence.

Is the design protected by patent or ip registration?
creative commons

How has the development of the design been financed hereunto?
Personal investment

Is there a plan for future investments?
Yes

Is there in-house competencies to secure market roll out of the design, with regards to investment, distribution, sales, etc.?
Yes

Credits

Designed by:
Manuela Aguirre Ulloa

Title/Role:
Service/System Oriented Designer

Website:
http://www.designingfordignity.com/22-contact-us

Professional status of designer:
Master of Industrial Design (AHO)

Nationality:
Chile

City/Country of residence:
Rochester/USA

Name of company:
Designing for Dignity

Designed by:
Jan Kristian Strømsnes

Title/Role:
Industrial/System Oriented Designer

Website:
http://www.designingfordignity.com/22-contact-us

Professional status of designer:
Master of Industrial Design (AHO)

Nationality:
Norway

City/Country of residence:
Oslo/Norway

Name of company:
Designing for Dignity


Additional credits:
Video Alex Asensi