Monthly Archives

October 2015

Team Domestic Violence – Preliminary HCW

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oct29team1With October almost over, we’ve started to synthesize our insights from our immersion and created a few preliminary ‘how can we’ statements. This week our team has been busy interviewing various experts as well as attending a few community events in Durham, such as a discussion on domestic violence in faith communities. At our GBM, our DFA advisor Matt Nash came by and suggested some additional people to contact for interviews as well as possible users.



oct29team12While we’re still conducting interviews and immersing, we synthesized some of our key insights and created a few preliminary HCW statements to guide our next steps. One of the most important components of the HCW statement is the user – who we want to design for. After some discussion, we narrowed down a few realistic user possibilities: victims who are in the process of reaching out or who have already reached out for help; employers; the general public who may be bystanders;  and children, in general as well as possibly those who have been exposed to domestic violence at home.


Our preliminary HCW statements, taking into consideration our user possibilities, are:

How can we…
-educate and demonstrate healthy relationships to children in schools?
-encourage employers to be more understanding and provide resources for victims?
-educate members of the community to recognize signs of domestic violence and provide resources in their daily lives and careers
-provide survivors with a concentrated resource pool to help them better transition in daily life

Team Mental Health – On the brink of Ideation

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We talked about our interviews & secondary research and started to synthesize and develop insights. One key take away from our interviews is that typically on Universities, 10% of students use 90% of mental health resources. We started to think about how to address the mental well-being of the 90% who do not use these resources.

We finished creating a survey containing various mental well-being questions and will send it out to facebook pages, clubs/organizations, and our friends. Based on the results from our survey as well as our insights, we will develop a few how can we statements and start ideation this Saturday during our team’s weekly meeting.

Team 3J3 – Narrowing Down

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After reaching out to various types of health leaders in the community, we have been able to reach 3 different How Can We statements. 1. How can we enable doctors to monitor long term patients in between visits? 2. How can we help families better understand diagnoses in a visually/ easily digestible way? 3. How can we help chronically ill or needy patients monitor their systems everyday?

To arrive at these HCWs, we first went through a long list of problem spaces in health including themes of scheduling, informatics, and sensor tracking. We also investigated global record systems for health, disease, and death in order to create a network of data that can be analyzed for geographical trends. Overall, we are conducting more research and interviews in order to narrow down our problem space to a viable disease/condition that would fit our HCW statements adequately. We are excited about the possibility of finding new and useful applications of wearable technology and making interactions more effective between doctors and patients. This would ideally be accomplished without intruding in the lives of our users. Our potential solution would not only make lives longer, but also give patients the assurance of stable health status.

Team Sp@rq – The First Ideation

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Today we finalized our two how-can-we’s and project space. We’re excited to say that we will be pursuing energy saving solutions for vampire power and HVAC systems —  for Duke’s dorms and beyond, into the community.

After finalizing these topics, we began to ideate. We came up with a ton of ideas for both topics, ranging from taking magic body-heating pills, to microwaving people to keep them warm. We did come up with many topics more sane than those mentioned, and categorized them based on the general concept behind the idea. This will help us refine the topics even further.

We concluded by talking to Matt Nash about potential contact partners and organizations around Durham we could work with, such as Habitat For Humanity and Clean Energy Durham. We look forward to meeting with these partners, and continuing to ideate!

Team Squad – Progress off the Charts!

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Oh! What a wonderful time to be alive! The sun is shining (behind the clouds and the fact it is currently night time) and the the sweet smell of opportunity just oozes through the walls.

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As for an actual update, today we began to synthesize the information we received from our initial interviews and found some target spots.

The different places we are currently pondering are:

How can we help children help their parents with useful technological skills? bring their resources home?

How can we entice parents to introduce technology to their children earlier?

How can we make technology useful to low-income, college-age students?

How can we educate children of future opportunities available in technology? (i.e. instead of “I want to be an astronaut” “I want to program for google”)

How can we educate adults in modern technology, so that they can use it for basic needs such as filing taxes?         

How can we help teachers utilize classroom technology to better instruct students and educate them in technology use?

Team Newbies – Insight from Matt Nash

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Team Newbies


Today we met with Matt Nash and we received some good contacts and new ideas.

As for where we are right now, we tried to create some “how can we…” statements, but then we ran into a wall and couldn’t narrow down our questions anymore. Our current How can we statements are rather vague, for example: “How can we help teachers motivate kids SOMEHOW?”

We believe that the reason for this is that we have not compiled enough secondary research and interviews to have a good idea of appropriate, detailed how can we statements. Therefore, this week we will continue to work on conducting secondary research and more interviews.

According to Kevin, we’re only 1 week or so behind other groups. This is better than our estimation of being like a month behind. We’ll catch up, probably

Team Domestic Violence – Starting Our Immersion

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For the past two weeks, we’ve been working hard on doing secondary research and immersing ourselves in the space of domestic violence. Last week, in addition to our regular Sunday meetings, we also met to watch a documentary together – Private Violence, which explores the complicated and terrifying reality of intimate partner violence in America, with a specific focus on North Carolina. The documentary was amazing at highlighting how domestic violence is an issue that’s often rendered invisible while exposing the systemic problems that protect abusers and blame victims. While difficult to watch, it forced us to challenge our assumptions about victims and their difficulty in leaving such relationships.

We’ve been diving into research on the topic, starting with general topics that we wanted to understand better such as: the psychological stages in the cycle of abuse, the escape process for victims, ways to identify an abusive relationship, the various types of abuse, the power and control dynamics in unbalanced relationships, and local statistics and policies (how North Carolina defines domestic violence and the types of charges abusers face).

After watching the documentary together, we’ve also been looking into how police are trained to identify domestic violence or how they are taught to act in the situations, the evidence that trials require and the effectiveness of restraining orders, what the root of domestic violence may be, as well as the role of advocates.

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In addition to secondary research, we’ve also been attending campus and community events about domestic violence. October is actually Domestic Violence Awareness Month! The Durham Crisis Response Center is having an event tomorrow on domestic violence in communities of faith that a few of our members are planning on attending.Our Women’s Center has also had a variety of gender violence awareness events planned this month on topics such as reporting gender violence and supporting survivors that we’ve been attending.

It’s full steam ahead for us and our immersion – we’ve been interviewing in the past week and have multiple interviews with experts planned for the next week. Although our problem space is intense and oftentimes overwhelming, the further we immerse ourselves, the more we realize how massive the problem of domestic violence and abuse is, and the more passionate we are about this topic.


Team FCA – On to Ideating!

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At Tuesday’s meeting we brought together all of our insights and “how can we” statements that we gathered from our research and user interviews. We began brainstorming ideas for solutions that directly addressed our “how can we’s” and mapped them out in a web as an organizational tool. We did timed individual brainstorming sessions followed by collaborative sessions where we shared our ideas and allowed each other to connect to and build off of what others had. We grouped together similar ideas and ideas that targeted similar problem areas. This gave us a tangible collection of ideas that we can analyze and hopefully build off of at our next meeting.

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Team Domestic Violence – Finding Our Space

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download (2)Last week, we had our design bootcamp where we learned about the human-centered design process through workshops. The problem space we used was women in STEM and we went through the design process as a team: researching about the issue, interviewing professional women in STEM careers and from Girls Engineering Change, synthesizing our insights, ideating, and then prototyping.


It was a great experience through which our team members were able to work together in a relatively quick, miniature design project. Besides learning about the design process, we were also able to better understand each other and see how we can build off of each other as a team to create something amazing together.

downloadEnergized from the bootcamp, we met over the weekend and selected our problem space. After discussing our ideas, we chose the problem space of domestic violence and abuse because we feel that it is a serious and widespread but not often addressed topic that would be daring, feasible, and applicable here in Durham.

We’re currently in the process of doing secondary research about the complexities of the space and identifying people and organizations to learn more about the topic. After our first round of research, we identified areas that each member will research further in depth (e.g. the psychological stages of abuse that victims go through; the various types of abuse such as emotional, financial, digital, physical, and sexual; statistics and statutes in our local area), as well as people on campus and in the community to reach out to for interviews.

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According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of physical violence from an intimate partner.

Domestic violence is a massive and horrifying issue in America. We intend to design something that will address these chilling statistics in some way – be it for victims themselves, or for those who provide support services for victims of domestic violence.

Team 3J3 – Exploring Our Problem Space

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We spent the past week researching different problems in healthcare and finding different potential mentors and community partners to work with. At the meeting, we shared our findings. There were three general areas where we felt like we could make an impact: personal health, problems with the Duke Hospital, and problems in the Durham community such as alcoholism and addiction. Over the next week or two, we will be reaching out to different experts in the various areas of health care to further narrow down our problem space. We will also be conducting more secondary research on the different problems to help us find an area where we feel like we can make a tangible impact.