Pictures above: Omri, Pauline, Kate, Tomma
1. Team UP: Pauline Schautmann (@Pauline ) and @Omri_Kaufmann are product design students at UDK in Berlin and breaking new ground in the OpenCare research by starting a deep conversation around mental and emotional health. They genuinely took their own personal experiences and turned them into design frames. Mental health is not easy to approach, and not once have I heard lately how sharing a deeply personal story in public feels scary. Kudos for a daring attitude:
Our goal is to make the complex, 'taboo' issue of mental health more tangible and approachable to the public. It aims at fostering empathy and understanding towards those that are suffering from emotional distress. Read more: Designing for Vulnerability
2. Kate Genevieve (@kate_g) is an artist and researcher at the intersections of domains, of the physical and virtual (own worded bio here). Her approach to mental care which I liked a lot is a community rewiring of listening and offering support, "that everyone who lives in a distributed area is in someway involved in processing the emotions experienced in that place". I’m hoping her piece will explore connection to inhabited spaces, using the digital as a space for honesty - more details to come.
Real-life conversations from real experience in which neither party is an expert can be life changing. I work a lot with VR and seeing through another's eyes is certainly helpful but what really leads to change is honestly communicating difficult experience and listening to others and accepting their experience. There's some sort of validation in the honesty of that process that allows for shifts. There are lots of CBT, brain training, "look at things brighter" apps around but perhaps there's room for bold digital networks - with some serious legal tick boxes in place - that make possible structured honest relational experiences between people in a particular place. - Kate in her thoughtful contribution.
2. Team “make it up”: Dennis Nguyen (@dennis), Tomma Suki Hinrichsen (@Tomma), Liza Schluder (@Liza ) and Simon Messmer (@simon.messmer ) are another group of students at UDK doing practical research in refugee camps in Berlin. I have a feeling this is no longer a student assignment, as they confessed to really enjoy hanging out there, making friends and throwing dinner parties. If you read their piece below, you’ll see that the people they talked to are called by a name and are not just “volunteer” or “refugee”. As the scouting progresses for creative activities and ideas to put people’s skills to good use during the long wait in the camp, the team came up with insights that only make us want to learn more: We have been visiting a refugee camp in Berlin and had the chance to get in touch with a number of the people there. It seems like most projects with refugees focus on families and children, whereas the young men are being left out (Home Sweet Home).
So there they are, our Op3nCare Fellows. They are the first to explore community led care in depth, aided by a small financial reward and learning opportunities in 2016-2017 (more about our ongoing Fellowship program here). Everyone, feel free to dive in the readings and say hello. Up until July 1st community members and new Edgeryders are welcome to join the conversation and submit Op3nCare stories. If you already posted in March, April, May, don’t worry, your submission is valid and will still be considered.