Section 3: Research


The MFA in Transdisciplinary Design program is a 2 year program, where the first year helps teach you new skills, and the second year dives into the thesis in more detail. (You can find out more about the courses here). For my particular structure of chosen coursework, I spent a half year (January to May) dedicated full time to the thesis.

My process followed the Design Council’s Double Diamond approach over a 4 month period.  I used a variety of methods to understand the dynamics and complexity of the systems, and the gaps, pain points and human stories in the systems.:

  • Primary research: Literature review to understand the ecosystem of healthcare, culture and what would shape my work
  • Ethnographic research: I interviewed stakeholders (mental health professionals and researchers) and consumers (those with a mental illness) to understand needs, goals, current behaviors and other key human elements;
  • Analysis: insights, strategic models, and synthesis to shape prototypes etc.
  • Prototyping: Multiple different prototypes exploring different types of self-stigma