Life Centred 

Research into what it could mean to shift from being “people centred” to “life-centred” in design practice and design education.

We undertook this project while at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design to help set a new life-centred design approach for CIID’s design school in Costa Rica. Perhaps, if we learn to design in a life-centred way, we might be able to focus our energy and efforts on making products and services that help the planet as well as the people.

How might we keep in mind the impact we have on the environment as well as what kind of behaviour we are enabling towards our earth? It’s not only about resources, it is also about understanding that design is part of the systems of human behaviour and consumption patterns.

In our research, we sought the tools, methods, inspiration and mindsets that could help evolve their human-centered design process into a life-centered one. Our hope is that the outcomes of the research will continue to enable instructors, students and professionals to consider a life-centred perspective.

Over the course of 5 weeks, we explored the topic through desk research and remote interviews, and immersive field research and continued interviews in Costa Rica. We planned and organised a full immersive study of life centred design in Costa Rica that allowed for both structured investigation as well as spontaneous, serendipitous connections. The outcome of our research was an interactive visualisation, series of insights, a research journal and a strategy workshop.

We visited people and places throughout Costa Rica who showed evidence of a life-centred approach based on our previous desk research and expert interviews. We followed chains of connected thought leaders, from Dr. Carlos Faerron, who focuses on planetary health, to Dr. Pablo Ortiz, who works with health in indigenous communities. We visited urban projects such as the Parque de La Libertad and rural centers such as the Earth University.

In order to summarise and communicate our research, we built a visualisation, a strategy workshop, research journal and booklet for our community.

Date: 2019
Details: Journal (pw: lcdresearchcr), Booklet

Role: Researcher, designer
Technologies: d3.js

Collaborators: Monika Seyfried, Natalia Robert, Francesca Desmarais, Arunima Singh, Calle Nordenskjold