Student Work

  • Transdisciplinary Design (MFA)

    Javiera Arenas and Emma Eriksson

    Designing for Transitions in Cancer

    Designing for Transitions in Cancer Cancer patients experience transition points (between being diagnosed and beginning treatment, between finishing treatment and beginning years screening and monitoring) that are often characterized by uncertainty, where patients and their loved ones may feel scared, frustrated, mistrustful, confused, and, above all, lacking in agency. Working in partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), we created three interventions to explore how design can play a role in creating a more supportive environment during transitions. 1. A new way patients can navigate the resources available to them. This first intervention allowed us to better understand the medical system and how patients are exposed to this information. Our physical and digital tools incorporate game design as a way of increasing access to resources that address physical but also emotional, interpersonal, lifestyle and administrative concerns as a way of easing the anxiety patients experience during these transitions. 2. A way to visualize the inherent uncertainty of a patient's journey. Our visualization can be used by staff to prepare patients for what they may experience in the future and can also be used by patients as a tool to reflect on the often traumatic experience of cancer to find sense and meaning. 3. A way to mark these transitions through a ritual. Our final intervention creates a moment of acknowledgment at key transition points to help emphasize the progress made and can provide a moment of closure for patients. See more on issuu.