MAKING DIVERSE VOICES HEARD

BUILDING COMMUNITY-BASED CO-DESIGN PROJECTS WITH OLDER ASIAN COMMUNITIES IN PHILADELPHIA
Author:
Juanjuan 'June' He, Khue Dao, Zhengdong 'Michael' Zhu, Theresa Jordan, Jouri Abdulmajeed Ghazi, Amjot Kaur
Company/School:
Drexel University

 

There is a lack of studies that focus on the needs and voices of older Asian adults in design research. Anti-Asian hate crimes, especially towards senior Asians, have increased across the country after the breaking out of the Covid-19 pandemic. Educators have a responsibility to utilize empathic design and co-design methods to help raise awareness of this population’s specific needs and create solutions with their lived experiences in mind. This paper talks about the creation and preparation of a community-based co-design study and relevant Aging + Design course connecting interdisciplinary college students from Drexel University with older adults in Philadelphia’s Asian Community. It focuses on the strategy of community-based collaboration during Covid-19 and approaches used to enhance cross-cultural communication despite language barriers. The paper provides insights on how to bring the lived experiences from diverse communities to the academic environment, increasing students’ awareness and understanding of inclusive and empathic design in the real world, as well as bringing diversity, equity, and inclusion to the design course pedagogy.

 

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