Tuesday, October 8, 2019

#MADEdialogue: Extending The Impact Workshop by Andrew Shea

Andrew shared many projects that have certain impact on micro, meso and macro levels, discussing how different kinds of interventions can shape people's behaviours.
One of the most useful resources he shared was the mapping of scale and skills. He probed us to consider where our current intervention ideas lie and if we require any help or additional skillset or to collaborate with other individuals to take the research project to the next level.

One of my favourites was the Astoria Scum River Bridge, for more than 20 years, there was a leaky pipe beneath the Hell Gate Bride viaduct and during winter the river would ice over and it was hazardous to cross. Jason Eppink constructed a zero cost pedestrian bridge from recycled materials for Astorians to cross the hazard safely. It was so effective and well commended that NYC Council pledged to work on the problem, within a couple of months, Astorial Scum River was quickly routed off the sidewalk and custom-made grates were installed to complete the project. It was interesting to see how a simple intervention could lead to a macro level.
Image by Jason Epppink

Andrew also shared a project he previously worked on: Nudging people to use revolving doors. He wanted to design for social change and hoped to encourage more people to use revolving doors as they were more energy-saving. However many people are terrified of using revolving doors so he created a super low-tech 'revolving door kit' to ask people to use the revolving doors which increased usage immediately. Another great example of how simple interventions can actually induce behavioural change and create maximum impact.

Image by Andrew Shea
Image by 6sqft

During the workshop, he also gave us a set of worksheets to help us ideate and translate our research into practical and feasible outcomes. I paired up with Javier and we were asking each other questions to help fill in ideas for each other. Shirley joined us for the second session, it was a really useful session as we came up with many potential ideas.

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