Design for Emergency

POC Design for Emergency, Boston- US

Design for Emergency

Can design promptly respond to a global crisis through a human-centred approach? How can designers collaborate to develop meaningful products and services addressing the fears, hopes, and needs that characterise this historical moment? Design for Emergency provides a data + design platform tolearn, act,anddesigna new normality, together.

Understanding people’s experiences

Design for Emergency ( is an open design platform  aimed  at helping the global community face thedisruptiveeffects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative was founded with a dual intent: understanding the experiences of people during the emergency, and providing a platform to design, share and implement solutions addressing the emerging needs and emotions, through an open and collaborative approach.  

Focusing initially on Italy,a survey wasdisseminated in order to understand the emotions and challengesof those living there.Thedatacollectedhas beenvisualised and made available to designers, in order to inspire the ideation of ad-hoc solutions.Theinitiative, launched in March 2020,has becomeglobal, covering ten countriesinthree continents – andcounting. 

An open design platform

Designers are invited to submit seed ideas to the Design for Emergency repository, through open design challenges and focused activities. In order to accelerate collaboration and make an impact, all seed ideas are published under Creative Commons license 4.0 and are freely available for implementation. So far, the platform features 35+ open design ideas, which aim at improving people’s safety, wellbeing, social interactions, and community support, in this challenging time.Ideas are based on the data collected through the surveys during the most severe phases of the emergency. However, they address needs and emotions that are going to mark the next phases of this transformative crisis, and the new normality that will follow. 

  • Porteurs de projet/Project holders : CAMD – Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media and Design
  • Designers : Sara Colombo, Paolo Ciuccarelli & Danilo DiCuia, Marco Guerini, Lucia Marengo, Piero Molino, Sara Perozzi, Sara Tonelli, Lucy Yan
  • Acteurs/Stakeholders : Universidad de La Laguna, Universidade de São Paulo, Hanyang University, UAL DESIS Lab – University of the Arts London, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana – Unidad Xochimilco, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, Universidad de Lima, Universidad Técnica de Ambato, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Berkeley Innovation Group, Domus Academy
  • Crédit photo/Photo credit : CAMD – Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media and Design