During February a meeting were arranged with Cri Brighton to discuss the research and organise an opportunity to 'shadow' a street outreach team in Hove. This will help to illustrate the difficulties faced in support service access and engagement with services first hand. It will also offer the opportunity to undertake informal conversations with service staff. During February I also developed ideas for a workshop activity with MA Sustainable Design at Kingston to be held in March. The LDOC application was also finalised and submitted for consideration by the Kingston University panel.
During January work was undertaken on developing an application for LDOC (London Doctoral Design Centre). Support through LDOC could really aid the research in the form of training workshops, collaboration with partners in industry and finance for conferences / pilots etc. During January I also updated the outline project literature map and project timeline - which map research Aims and Objectives against the double diamond and study years. These documents are valuable for positioning the project and scoping the area of investigation with increased focus.
December involved some time collating information / references collected throughout the year and reflection on the work undertaken. I looked back at my projects AIM and Objectives and refined them according to the changing research focus. Time was also spent looking ahead to the coming year and thinking about the next steps the research could take to understand the topic more comprehensively. I also had a much need Christmas break.
November was conference month, during which I attended both the PhD by Design conference at Goldsmiths and the Alcohol Concern. These were very useful both for presenting work but also expanding research network. Various valuable discussions took place, the key ones being with Becci Pearce (sociologist working in service design), Mike ward (Blue light project) and Linda Smith (Kent dynamic alcohol service pathway). Also useful for gaining personal rather than just generic email addresses for contacting key individuals.
Also this month I have started to look again at producing diagrams to help position the project and also to look at producing a graphic for illustrating service pathways.
During October there were two key events. Firstly I conducted a measured survey of an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre through my day job in architecture. This was an invaluable opportunity to get a 'fly on the wall' view of a function rehab facility, to meet services users face to face and to build contacts with support staff.
Secondly I attended an MA sustainable design event with Kingston students at the design council, this consisted of a morning lecture / workshop on behavioral science by Ed Gardiner and afternoon student presentations.
Also this month I combined the existing journey maps into one single drawing which reflected the continuing focusing of the research and I added further information.
I have been investigating service design methods in more detail. A key publication I discovered this month was Touchpoint, specifically the August issue 'Better outcomes by Design'. This edition was beneficial for introducing the key service designers and projects which use service design in the healthcare realm. I also changed the name of this site from architectural labyrinths to design labyrinths in order to reflect the gradual change in my design thinking.
During the second half of September I took a much needed holiday during which I attended the design biennial in Venice for a couple of days. The main focus was architectural but within this there were some examples of interesting social projects which used architecture as a tool to encourage behavioral change.
During August I have been adding to the blog on this site and increasing the use of twitter for this research. Going forward these will be the main places used to store key project references and links. An excellent reference I discovered was: 'Voices of experience' published by Broadway Homelessness and Support. This looks at the personal and direct experiences of 'persistent' street drinkers in relation to support. This document is being used in the further development of a street drinking persona journey map, which will become a detailed graphical description of the many drivers and issues involved.
Also this month I have begun to look more closely at the use of service design in general and specifically in relation to health care and well-being.
In July I was notified that I had been successful in progression to the next year, this was very welcome news after the hard work of the first eight months.
I developed a short storyboard animation of one of the persona journey map narratives (click image above to access video). This was designed to be easily 'digestible' by stakeholders to comment on the narratives.
I also had an excellent conversation with the director of Brighton Oasis project, who gave some really practical and helpful feedback on the persona journey maps.
June was spent preparing and submitting my Annual Monitoring Form (AMR). This involved a report on my progress to date and several drafts were produced and discussed with my supervisor prior to final submission.
This month I also synthesized and organised all the information collected during the first eight months of PhD study.
Further contact was also made with the director of Brighton Oasis project, a feedback conversation for the persona journey maps was scheduled for early July.
During May I attended the 'Information is Beautiful' talk in Brighton. David McCandless discussed how he ‘mines’ raw data and presents it in such a way graphically that it reveals something new and intriguing. This talk was especially relevant to the development of the journey maps and how these might be re-worked to be understood more clearly for feedback to be obtained for the narratives.
I also attended 'Alcohol and Crime: How do we break the cycle?' at the RSA. This was a panel discussion and debate surrounding the issues which are current in the treatment of prisoners with alcohol dependence and how to ensure this does not lead to re-offending. One of the key points of this discussion was that the ability to treat these issues is hampered by a lack of funding and resources to develop new ways of addressing these problems.
The information for the university monitoring report was collated and the report written, alongside begging to develop one simpler and one more detailed journey map, from the initial one produced which focused on street drinking / alcohol misuse.
In April I decided to concentrate initially on obtaining feedback from the Brighton research area. I could then develop a strategy for the other areas, once I had some success in Brighton. I also started to think about other ways the information could be presented more simply.
Also through wider reading I began to focus more on street drinking and alcohol use in the urban realm. As a area this appears to be under researched, especially in terms of design led interventions. This is a narrowing of focus which I am keen to carry forward as the project develops from this point.
During April I also started to determine the requirements for documenting the first year (8 months), up to the point when I am required to submit a university annual monitoring report.
During March the journey maps were initially issued to both Brighton and Lambeth research locations. Unfortunately even after reminder / follow up emails, no responses were received.
I attended 'Fast Forward: The Collaborative 2015 and beyond' conference, this event highlighted the innovative work being undertaken in mental health service provision and access across the London borough of Lambeth.
Also in March I attended some events for the SICK! festival in Brighton. This was a mixed media arts festival which explored mental health and social challenges in society today.
This month I worked on a document which discussed and documented the process of developing the journey maps. This allowed me to understand and review this process before the drawings were issued to key stakeholders. The document would also form the basis for a chapter in the final thesis. The document aimed to address: Why these drawings were being produced? The value of these moving forward in the project? How do these relate to wider reading? Also this month, contacts were identified through online research for the organisations which the journey maps would be targeted at.
During February this website was also updated, with a revised design and new sections for the journey maps and a space for other project information.
This month I have finished the journey maps (V1.0), which after review will be used to make contact with key stakeholders to facilitate a dialogue. This site has also developed further, with the journey maps uploaded and pages created for key issues / findings relating to the complex web of issues that this research is grappling with.
I attended the sensing spaces exhibition at the Royal Academy. One exhibit, which was extremely interesting, was the participatory exhibit by Diebedo Francis Kere:
"I believe it is important to engage people in the process of building so they have an investment in what is developed. Through thinking and working together people find that the built object becomes part of a bonding experience."
Also this month I have been reading to understand the behaviours explored in the journey maps in more detail. With the view to begin developing drawings which can be cross referenced to look in more detail about existing support service processes and networks.
In December I focused on further developing the journey maps to bring them to the point at which they could form the basis for a discussion with key stakeholders, to further develop these.
I also began to work on this website as a place to collate information, test ideas and showcase images which would aid in the process of making initial contact and develop relationships with stakeholders.
As the journey maps developed it became apparent that it would be important to combine these with other mappings / diagrams to describe service processes and stakeholder interaction. This could be achieved by developing a system of coding, which would allow all these drawings to reference to each other and interrelate to form design tools going forward.
This month I began to look into defining the terms of the investigation more carefully including: What is a vulnerable individual? What constitutes an urban realm? When does behaviour actually become anti-social?
The journey maps were also developed further, simplifying the logos / colours and locating / distilling many real life case studies into three very specific, designed but 'authentic' personas.
I also explored the idea of targeting one of the personas to a support network in three locations - the North East, London and the South Coast.
I attended a talk at Kingston called ‘Garments for the Grave’ by Pia Interlandi, which was a presentation of a PhD research project which focused on designing garments for dressing bodies for burial. Particularly interesting was the way in which practice was the main driver in the research process. Also the way in which difficulties experienced during the project were addressed and overcome.
Finally I investigated the Dott07 manual for potential relevant project case studies, specifically DaSH. This project developed ideas to make sexual health services easier to access in Gateshead.
Prior to beginning my PhD, I was invited to attend the SKIP residential workshop at Kingston University.
The PhD began with a general introduction to research at Kingston, through a series of research training events and lectures.
I attended the monthly design research seminar with fellow PhD researchers. At this session we explored the importance of clearly defining the aims and objectives of a research project.
I also had the first supervisory meeting with my director of studies, here we discussed the development of user journey maps and diagrams to illustrate the key points in the journey from damaging behaviours through support services. We also explored ways of graphically portraying the issues and network of stakeholders involved in these journeys.
Introduced to Helen Goodwin's research 'Public life by design?'