Lumen

An immersive and interactive experience that empowers people to have difficult thoughts and conversations surrounding the end of life either by themselves or with a loved one.

Tools

Illustrator 

 Photoshop

Hand sketches

3D modeling

 

Duration

8 Months

Key Skills

Social Impact

Design research

Mix Media experience design

Systems thinking 

Prototyping 

Usability testing 

 

 

People experience loss of varied level throughout their life. 

 Tough Breakup

Losing a Pet

Death of a

family member

Death of a

close friend

As the loss gets more profound, conversations get more uncomfortable.

That's because

death is a taboo topic.

SECONDARY RESEARCH

 

The taboo exists because death is not a part of our cultures anymore.

When plague first arrived in the 14th Century, the act of dying

moved from homes to hospitals.

Death today is hidden away in basement morgues

while birth is celebrated

PRIMARY RESEARCH

In order to understand why the taboo exists, we explored various research methodologies to initiate conversations around the end of life.

1:1 interviews

Facilitated death cafe style lunches

Online surveys

Phonebooth to talk to a lost loved one inspired by Itaru Sasaki’s Japanese Wind Phone

PRIMARY RESEARCH

Stories that emerged from our research highlighted what people needed in order to make death less taboo and also understand why it should not be considered so.

People need Space, Time and Permission to think and talk about death.

 

SPACE

“It felt so nice to visit my mother’s grave, at least I had someplace to go and express my thoughts.”

“As time passes, no one asks me about my wife anymore. I never really get the chance to bring her up myself either.”

PERMISSION

TIME

“Death is a taboo topic but there are times in your life when that's all you want to talk about and it's difficult to find the right time to do so.”

INSIGHT

Death shouldn't be taboo because even though it's uncomfortable to think and talk about it, it helps us grieve, heal and realize what is important to us.

All the stories and data collected through contextual research was analyzed through frameworks to derive an insight.

HMW provide space, time and permission to have meaningful thoughts and conversations around the end of life?

 

IDEA GENERATION

Designing an experience that empowers people to have meaningful thoughts and conversations about the end of life.

While brainstorming, we came up with several ideas including a camping experience, and a series of murals across the city, games etc.

However we had to acknowledge the fact that we aren’t licensed grief counselors or artists, but we are Interaction designers. As a result, we designed and prototyped an immersive, interactive experience that empowers people to have meaningful thoughts and conversations about the end of life.

 

Concept Ideation

IDEA GENERATION

 

BUILD TO LEARN

Experience Prototyping the design.

Starting with setting up a multi-sensory experience in our college's meditation room, followed by setting up a tent, we explored various mediums to communicate our idea and understand what it would be like to interact with them.

Building experiences in various mediums

Testing prototypes with various participants

1/1

LEARNINGS

People interacted with it differently based on if they experienced it in a pair or by themselves. 

 

Interactions needed to guide the experience without being prescriptive.​

 

Language and tone of voice across all the touchpoints needed to be cohesive.

There was a need to design an equally engaging extended version of the experience. 

USER CONCEPTUAL MODEL

Designing the interlinkages between various components of the experiences using the 5E methodology.

EXPERIENCE PRINCIPLES 

All the learning from prototyping and testing informed the experience principles and final experiential offering.

IMMERSIVE

Creating conditions for users to be present, focussed and engaged.

BALANCED

Ensuring the experience is well guided while leaving enough room for imagination.

RESPECTFUL

The overall language and tone of voice throughout the experience will have to be cognizant of the topic being explored.

FINAL OFFERING

An immersive and interactive experience that empowers people to have difficult thoughts and conversations surrounding the end of life either by themselves or with a loved one.

IMPACT

It was heartwarming to see peoples curiosity and reaction towards the experience. 

Lumen has also been awarded a grant to be built for Reimagine End Of Life in NYC.

https://letsreimagine.org/​

 

 “It made me think of my family, who is very far away right now.”

 “I have this heavy feeling in my chest. ”

“I hope more people get a chance to experience this.”

NEXT STEPS

Build an online platform and

design a scaled-down version.

We are currently working on designing an online platform for people to remotely experience lumen and share their own stories.

We also plan to offer this experience in everyday environments like schools and offices.

The interactive immersive lumen experience will be traveling to various events like Reimagine End of Life NYC to initiate further conversations and move beyond the taboo associated with the topic. 

 

LEARNINGS

The ability as an interaction designer of the future to think beyond screen-based UI and tackling complex non-tangible problem spaces.

  • My most significant learning from this projects was to gain expertise in tackling big taboo questions, visualize the underlying system and a knack for cutting through a complex web of stories and cultural structures to design a meaningful offering.  

  • This project also gave us all a hands-on experience of thinking beyond screen UI. We got an opportunity to design a mix media experiences which was a first for most of us. 

  • Another crucial learning was scalability. The ability to strip down components of a solution or experience to make it accessible and viable without losing its core essence. 

  • I also learned a lot from my exceptionally talented fellow team members each bringing in their domain expertise to play. 

  • Through this project, I was able to sharpen my written and verbal communication skills and learned the importance of tone of voice especially while dealing with a taboo topic like death. 

Project dedicated to Apurva. A dear friend and a fellow designer.

PROJECTS

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RBI

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Provo

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Nordstrom

Mitel

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P - Dexa

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Seek

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Lumen

New Narrative

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Vital

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Agronomics

CONTACT

If you are interested in my work, have an opportunity to discuss or just want to say hello! Please contact me via any medium that suits you.

sneha@cca.edu

Tel: (510) 240  0097

Sneha Gokhale  2018