Design outcomes informed by trauma-informed practices can shift power dynamics in the research phase and yield outcomes that afford space for continuous consent building and relational processes in support of diverse user needs.
This talk describes a set of projects that integrate principles of trauma informed care with design practices. With a background in social work and outreach community support, I have been practicing principles of trauma-informed care in social service settings for many years. As such, a part of my Masters of Design research explores different aspects of trauma informed principles as it shows up in generative design research projects in health care and front line service settings. This proposed talk will go through two case studies: a generative design research project in collaboration with Alzheimer Society of BC that seeks to develop dementia-friendly research, and another project that seeks to shift organizational practices towards non hierarchical participatory exchange in a homeless outreach organization in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In each of these cases, principles of trauma informed care are considered in different phases of the design research process to foster services and systems that accommodate diverse needs of people living with different degrees of trauma.
Further explorations bring forth a nuanced understanding of trauma-informed principles as they are practiced in the aforementioned projects to develop a more accessible and mindful set of terminology and goals. These are as follows: Relationships of reciprocity and collaboration, paced interactions to establish trust and ongoing consent, restructuring power dynamics to centre choice and voice of people with lived experience and building relational systems of safety that prioritize social well-being. As apparent in these projects, design outcomes informed by trauma-informed practices can shift power dynamics in the research process and yield outcomes that afford space for continuous consent building and relational processes in support of diverse user needs.
Garima Sood (BA) is a service designer and a design researcher. She facilitates participatory explorations to foster meaningful and reflexive engagement with complex systems that inform designed interactions and service delivery. Through her work, she seeks to analyze, disrupt and push complex systems into transition towards more equitable futures. Garima has a BA in Political Science with a background in social work and outreach community support. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Design at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver.