A Design Response for Type 1 Diabetes

 Post 8 by Lucy Allen

The ability to brainstorm and discuss in a collaborative group throughout this process has been so beneficial in my own discoveries but also in broadening my understanding in different areas of ‘Obesity and Healthy living’ through the work of other group members.

Identifying possible issues to respond to required me to draw upon my many weeks of research and findings to extract the fundamental issues at play in the realm of Type 1 Diabetes.

Identified Issues

  • There is wide-spread confusion and lack of education as to the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
  • People living with Type 1 Diabetes often feel misunderstood and that there is a lack of peer and personal support when it comes to living with the disease
  • Australia has a history of attempted and failed government strategies when it comes to Type 1 Diabetes. There is currently no government strategy in place to further educate, inform and prevent Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
  • There is a lack of empathetic connection and understanding within the interconnected stakeholders in regards to Type 1 Diabetes
  • Due to a lack of understanding about Type 1 Diabetes there is a stigma and stereotype associated with Type 1 Diabetes that is mostly incorrect and misunderstood

 Using the framework of who, what, when, where and why I was able to refine these issues into a more specific issue statement from which I could begin to brainstorm potential emergent responses.


Refined Issue Statement: 

“People living with Type 1 Diabetes feel a lack of understanding, connection and acceptance in current Australian society”

By refining and defining my issue statement I was able to begin brainstorming potential emergent responses to this issue as explored in INSERT LINK. From this group brainstorming session I discovered that the most obvious response to my issue would be that of a service. I found however that the few visualisation practice and generative system ideas we brainstormed were a lot more exciting to me than that of a service design. I think creating a response that incorporates some aspect of visualisation practice and a generative system has the potential to result in a much more innovative and impactful outcome to this issue.


My issue tackles three important but different feelings currently experience by those living with Type 1 Diabetes; understanding, connection and acceptance. I propose the design of a exhibition that would be curated through a generative system and result in a data visualisation. Throughout this process there would be the opportunity to connect people living with Type 1 Diabetes, educate society on the disease and raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes.

I propose the development of a set of postcards, sent to people living with Type 1 Diabetes nationally. Each postcard would require a different response from these individuals, some possible responses are brainstormed below:

new doc 10_1.jpg

These postcards would then be collected and curated into a public exhibition that not only acts as a visual representation of what it is like to live with this disease but also a data visualisation of living with Type 1 Diabetes. This exhibition would bring together sufferers, uniting them through the process as well as opening up a discussion about Type 1 Diabetes, educating and raising awareness about the disease. I would hope through this process and exhibition that it would attract media attention and bring this issue to the attention of government bodies, enabling a discussion to be started at a higher level and action to be taken and carried through by the Australian Government.


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