Post 8:Brainstorming possibilities for a design response

During this week’s tutorial, we started to focus and brainstorm some practical designed response to our issue. Basing on five points identified in my first post and considering all the stakeholder maps I have done before, air pollution turns out to be my topic, which is also a serious issue nowadays. However, air pollution is a complicated topic, so I will more focus on smog issue, known as the combination of smoke and fog. According to the research, smog is a type of presentation of air pollution, which is a mixture of energy consumption emission pollutants. I will focus on some possible design response to slightly change smog issue.

According to my primary and secondary research, smog issue is the topic that mostly referred to in China and there are lots of designers making some design proposals which have raised the public awareness about smog. Those proposals also try to solve this issue with their designed concept. I have to admit that we cannot completely solve smog issue, but I will try to create something, which is going to slightly change the severeness of smog under climate change as a designer. Developing a topic research and process of putting concept into practice proved to be difficult at first. The research being found is not enough to support the topic to make design proposal about smog issue. As this result, I started with the criteria provided in the class exercise “Who, What, When, Where and why”.

Who does the problem affect?

In smog issue, it affects lots of general public. Because smog issue is a social issue related to people, such as human health and human lifestyle. However, in my design proposal I will focus on the age group around 18-25 years old as my key stakeholder. This age group is the potential of general public to change their life and benefit their next generation.

There are lots of research reporters around the world now, the children’s lung function in cleaner area are grow faster than the one in polluted area. Poor lung function in early life will lead to lung problem in future life. We should do something when child are growing so that we could make change that child’s life.

What are the boundaries of the problem?

The boundary of the smog issue is relationship between human activity and human health. According to Liu Z’s report, manufacturing and power generation are the major sectors contributing to China’s carbon emissions, together these sectors accounted for 85% of China’s total carbon emissions in 2012.  In addition, outdoor air pollution contributes to the deaths of an approximated 1.6 million people in China every year, or about 4,400 people a day, according to a newly released scientific paper. It can be seen from that human activity influences human health.

When does the problem occur? When dose it need to be fixed?

Climate change issue has been discussed for years, but smog issue in China has become more serious in recent years. The main reason leading smog issue to become more prevalent is the number of motor vehicles in urban areas steadily increased during the 1980s. According to the data from Statista, the number of car in China has been increasing to 172 millions in 2015. I think people should take some actions to control the level of emission from those increasing amount of vehicle. However, this issue cannot be tackled in a short period of time, because the process of putting plan into practice takes some time. Thus, I need to appeal people pay more attention to smog issue, and I would try my best to come up better design to combat the smog issue in china.

Where is the problem occurring? Only in certain locations, certain processes?

Actually, Smog issue is certainly not a new problem for the world, and it is not a new problem for China. The major place where the problem happened are industrialized countries. I focus on smog issue in China as my topic, because China was the largest contributor to carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and from cement production in 2012.

On the other hand, the data from China National Coal Association shows that China ­totally used 36 billion tons of coal till 2013, which is more than all other countries in the world’s usage being added up. The last country using this number of amount of coal is UK in 1860s.

Why is it important that the problem is fixed? What impact does it have on all stakeholders?

I think the biggest reason for problem being fixed is removing the threat on people’s health. According to the database from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, research for  the number of masks was made more frequently in several areas hit by heavy pollution this month than elsewhere. And people who live in smog city go to hospitals in growing numbers.

And the people who live in smog city go to hospitals in growing number. Because human need to breathe, breath cannot be avoided or choose, smog is threating our health in every breathe time. The data from EPA shows that person takes between17, 280 and 23,040 breaths on average every day, it is easy to imagine how severe it is if living in smog.

In addition, human is the biggest group in the stakeholders. Because smog issue is related to human health and behavior. Yet human is also one of the reason lead to smog issue. Such as, power plants and traffic. The natural resources is damaged party in Non-human stakeholders, because air pollution can seriously impact the growth of plants.

Five points in summary of what we have identified as possibilities for a design response:

– Through the problem statement, I realized how important to create proposal to remind people of paying more attention to smog issue.

-Data visualization could be a good way to show the number of vehicle increase every year

-The proposal need to be useful and attractive so that it makes people be interested in it. Through this proposal people will pay more attention to smog issue and help to change it.

-To develop a service design can be interactive. We need to use some elements to represent the data. Such as color or lines.

-Based on primary research, people are lack of the consciousness of recycle and environment protection. Thus, the proposal need to give suggestions or create interaction. Such as, taking photo and upload them to record your everyday protective activities.

Draft Proposal:

The proposition is smog issue in China, which has become more serious in recent years. Because of over emissions, the number of vehicle increased and crowed population. I am considering creating something to appeal people to pay more attention to smog issue.

After all research, mapping and five point summary of possibilities, I decided to create a service design with an application, which aims to help people to know air quality in every day. This proposal is established on data monitoring and analyzing air pollution index to kindly remind people of wearing mask in smog day. This can protect people health. And the other reason I decided to create an App is because the age group around 18 to 25, main target market of age group, are more welling to try new things.



BBC, 2016, “Air pollution in China each year the death toll in the world”, viewed 19 September 2016, < >

China National Coal Association, 2013, “Energy policy”, viewed 18 September 2016,

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EPA, 2014, “How Many Breaths Do You Take Each Day?”, viewed 18 September 2016,< >

Jin, C. 2015, “QiongDingZhiXia”, video recording, YouTube,viewed 17 September 2016, < >

Millward, S. 2014, TECHINASIA, “In China, even creating a pollution tracking app is a risky business”, viewed 19, September 2016, < >

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