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A case study of intuition and design: Building a tool for parents of premature babies and the nursing staff who care for them

By Asta Raami


<p>The paper presents a research-based study project conveyed by Media Lab Helsinki in 2007–2008. During the process, the design team constructed a unique audiovisual tool that provides emotional support in coping with the challenges of a premature birth. The purpose of the two-hour DVD, with its three separate parts, is to help family, intensive care staff, and other associated health care personnel to better connect with each other and the tiny babies. As the first audiovisual material, which aims to explain premature babies’ communication and interaction, the end product has proven to be of significant value to Finnish neonatal care and other associated fields. The project was realized in cooperation with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Children’s Hospital, HUCH (Helsinki University Central Hospital), and the design team worked in a network of shared expertise. </p> <p> In the case study the authors used co-design and self-reflection methods to monitor graduate students working with a society-level challenge. The focus was upon the utilisation of intuition in innovations, problem solving, and project management. During the design process, the authors observed the working theory: intuition is the basis of successful decision-making, which leads to innovative solutions. Throughout the design process, the team collected systematically feedback, which was later utilised as a corner stone in the case study.</p> <p> The authors believe that relying on intuition, the design team ended up addressing many hidden issues of the clinic and parenthood of premature babies’. This paper tries to unfold the evolutionary working approach used during the design process, presents highlights of the case study research as well as illuminates the intuitive way of working from designers’ point of view. </p> <p> <strong>Keywords:</strong> <br /> Design; Intuition; Case Study; Shared Expertise; Innovations; Digital Media; Evolutionary Process</p

Year: 2009
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