Hope in the Face of Disaster

IDSA IDEA 2017 Juror Leads New Design Project on Disaster Recovery

A new project by IDSA International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2017 Juror Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness, IDSA, and her industrial design students is making headlines.

The Iowa State University industrial design assistant professor and several of her juniors have developed the Damage Assessment Kiosk—a new way for survivors of emergencies to report damage to their homes and property, with the eventual goal of faster recovery. The project had to navigate "the complex layers that make up disaster relief," reports Iowa State Daily.

“It's never just a clear straight line," Paepcke-Hjeltness tells reporter Michael Heckle. "Early on, you branch out and collect data and then you end up in this overwhelming state of you know too much."

The Damage Assessment Kiosk is lightweight and portable, designed to be used by organizations such as the Red Cross in emergency shelters. It has a simple, graphic-based system that communicates questions without technical jargon and is designed with a wide base and movable keyboard, making it handicap accessible.

Junior Aaron Evans, S/IDSA, says feedback on the project has been forwarded to the state’s Department of Homeland Security, in the hopes of making the project a reality.

Read more in Iowa State Daily.