MCH2022 Curated content

How do we design trauma-informed systems?

DNA 🧬
Miholyn Soon
Trauma is a powerful force that affects an individual’s ability to cope and navigate through their life. A human at their worst mental state, is going to interact with a system in drastically different ways than a human at their best. How can technologists design new systems with these psychological vulnerabilities that many humans have in mind? In this workshop, we’ll be using a systems innovation, design and psychology lens to demonstrate practical frameworks to addressing the how.
There’s a growing awareness in Western society about the negative impacts that technology has on our lives. Parallel to that, there is a growing acknowledgement that mental health and wellbeing is important. But for any prominent change to happen in a positive direction, these discourses cannot stay evolving in parallel - they need to come together and inform each other. 

Trauma and its impacts on human psychology are an all-pervasive force that impact humans on a micro and macro level. It only makes sense that the same force would replicate itself in technology. From the alarming rate of depression in social media use to addictive and detrimental financial decision-making in cryptocurrency trading, technology has a significant impact on human behaviour, melding in and perpetuating pre-existing vulnerabilities we have. 

But how would we map this complex, slightly abstract idea out in a practical way? What would a trauma-informed system look like? Or may we dare to dream of moving forward from being stuck in cycles of trauma? Using a systems-innovation framework, paired with a value-driven design lens and an understanding of trauma from research and our own journeys in it, we’d like to share with you a multidisciplinary design lens that acknowledges trauma as a significant actor within it. 

The workshop will include our a recollection of own experiences in the climate innovation, humanitarian sector and decentralised technology field. We will invite participants to reflect upon how they interact within systems, mapping out the relationship between complexity and unintended psychological consequences, and how to ultimately re-imagine a different world.

Additional information

Type Workshop
Language English

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