Respire - helping expats create new networks and understand foreign cultures in their new settings.
Respire is an innovative service for expats to support cultural integration. It understands the challenges faced in handling cross-cultural barriers at work and the need to build meaningful new contacts.
Respire handles cross-cultural barriers at work and the need to build meaningful contacts using two key features:
The Smart Chatbot and the Motivated Mentoring System
Before an assignment, Respire takes care of pre-assignment training by sharing relevant cultural knowledge that will help an expat understand different aspects of another culture, easing their integrating in to a new international setting. It then continues to provide support on arrival, acting as a personal intelligent secretary at work.
How might we support women with children to use their “me-time” in order to strengthen their happiness?
The Brief Research has shown that grown-ups' happiness’ level has deep bonding with their childhood, particular has influenced by their mothers’ happiness. For most women, being mothers means a new journey, but also brings life challenges at this vulnerable period of life. The shift need to take care of young children, as well as the whole family, have weakened the needs of women with children to relax, socialize, enjoy quality time with husband and self-develop. As a result, that leads to a series of maternal mental health issues like depression.
Understanding the importance of the"me-time", in this project we want to tackle the happiness issue by improving the fragmented me-time quality, thus increasing the overall happiness for women with children. Hence, our question was – How might we support women with children to use their “me-time” to strengthen their happiness?
Design Methodology We have conducted a survey and contextual interviews to understand target audiences' needs to the Intelligent personalized assistant productS. That includes understanding their awareness to the topic of happiness, daily routines, emotional journey as well as the digital devices usage penetration. For the desk research, we mapped out the competitors' landscape to understand the current IPA market and major players to envision the future scenarios and opportunity for our service.
Solution EVA is an intelligent personal assistant aimed to help women with children to reach their perfect balance of “me-time” and mum-time. EVA is a data-driven service to study and analyze behavior data from mums' online and offline activities, interaction with children, and other smart home devices. Right now, EVA is a chatbox as the MVP, but in the future, we envision the expansion of its service scope to reach seamless communication for mobile and intelligent devices.
Team: Xiaosu Lai, Andrea Diaz, Sophia - Louisa Grantl Start: October 2017 | Finish: January 2018 Tutor: J Paul Neeley
EVA service intro video
The Royal Opera House Open-up Project
How might ROH create affordable and accessible pre and post performance experiences that can entice, excite and inspire the potential visitors to become loyal ROH visitors during the day using both physical and digital channels.
The Brief Royal Opera House is opening up their spaces to the public, and they collaborate with RCA to come up with ideas for the 2018 Open House Project. The project is to enhance the current Royal Opera House offerings with world-class opera experience following the key purposes: Bring the behind-the-scenes story to life; Attract a wider audience through the door; Encourage lingering outside performance times; Create moments to be shared.
The Methodology Through the desk and field research, we found the potential to utilize these spaces during the daytime. We realize that there is a huge opportunity in bringing in the upcoming 65+ women into the doors from ' Populus' audiences segmentation research. These women have time during the day, but most importantly they are the access point to their children and grandchildren, which is valuable to attract a wider range of new audiences.
We also looked at their current brand, online and offline infrastructure. We are amazed to find there is a great number of offerings like SoundCloud, Facebook, Instagram, youtube channels, Flickr, digital screens, newsletters, cinema events, online shops, partnerships with BBC, website ….. bars, restaurants, shops, foyers, magazines, billboards and the list continues. From the research, we found that problem lies in the disconnected channels and fragmented information. The Royal Opera House has a lot to offer but they are fragmented. They are telling multiple stories on multiple channels.
Solution Our challenge was to orchestrate their already existing offerings and propose a new Design Strategy that incorporates the spirit of the Royal Opera House.
Client: Royal Opera House Team: Xiaosu Lai, Alex Baer, Hazel Scrimgeour Start: March 2017 | Finish: May 2017 Tutor: Gus Desbarats
Overture | Service Concept Teaser
Islington Council Housing Department
How might we create a centralised service to re-design the way that Mildmay community centre offers activities by understanding and engaging residents’ need and interest?
The Brief The brought of Islington is one of most historical and articulate area in the country. It is a place full of contrast: many of the most influential people in the country live in the council homes as tenants or leaseholders, yet inequality and poverty are on the rise. For many years, the Islington council has been promoting the housing operation serves as the centered council service, to tackle the social inequality challenge and make Islington a fair place.
RCA partners with the Islington Council to re-design its frontline housing services by creating new and better ways of engaging with their residents. We've focused on the community activity engagement in the area of Mildmay ward, where we aimed to increase residents activity participation so that they can enjoy living and contribute.
Design Methodology The process is mainly primary-research driven. Besides field observation, we have conducted contextual interviews with the council housing residents, the housing department staffs as well as the council staffs. We've also read couple Islington housing and community development strategy plans to understand the current council move and goal. That shapes our focus to utilize the Mildmay community space to redesign a holistic service system for both residents and the community center.
Problems and Goals Although the community center has provided various offerings for the residents, the activities engagement rate was still not yet satisfied. Some residents have low participation, or not heard about the community center activities. We've found most of the systems were designed around departmental functions rather than resident's needs. Teasing out the underlying issues generated 4 key insights.
- Lack of channels for residents to express and recommend which recreational activities they want. - Activities offered for residents are not aligned with residents' interest or free time. - The way feedback collected from residents is not proactive. - Lack of residents awareness to activities offered by the community center.
Solution Mildcomm is a centralized service system to help Mildmay community center organize and manage activities for Mayville residents. This project could have focused very specifically on the one problem in one community center. However, the ambitions of the project were to tackle the systemic issues in the overall residents' engagement and create tools that could support staffs to embed real change across other community centers in the brought.
Client: Islington Council Team: Xiaosu Lai, Andrea Diaz, Hsin Yi Lo, Ji-young Lee Start: Jan 2017 | Finish: March 2017 Tutor: Nicolás Rebolledo. Design for Policy Platform Leader, RCA Service Design
Mildcomm service intro video
How might we make people’s cooking experiences more frequent and creative so as to enhance their health and wellness through home-cooked meals?
The Brief Home-cooking is full of health benefits. However, busy lifestyles of urban adults and faster means of getting food limits our motivation and habit of home-cooking. From the general user survey, we found the majority people would feel more encouraged to cook if they had more time and knowledge. Also, many are interested in trying new recipes and advancing their cooking skills. Our project looks into the opportunity to create a supportive environment for creative and frequent cooking experiences for busy Londoners who want to cook more at home.
Team: Laura Arribas Arceredillo, Xiaosu Lai, Graham Townsend, Patrick Schinnerl-Liertzer Start: October 2016 | Finish: June 2017 Module Lead: Bart Clarysse (Imperial), Carolyn Runcie (RCA)
Understanding customers' pain
The Future Platform
How might we create solution for designers and organisations to better design the future?
The Brief Royal College of Art Service Design is collaborating with NASA to explore the service design opportunity in the future design. We are living in an age of volatile times. Globalisation speeds up the pace of markets, urbanization brings people closer and closer together, the rise of artificial intelligence will transform the value of work and recent political earthquakes highlight that no establishment is untouchable. At times like this, we can’t stop at just ‘reacting’ to what future brings about. It is a critical period where we need to imagine, speculate and prepare alternatives to the current state of things.
Our Methodology We start with the secondary research and learn some theories about future forecasting, interdisciplinary and trends & Technology to help us scope down the topics. Traditionally, future forecasting has been the province of trend agencies and data miners. But the (analytical) power and value of Future Forecasting has proven to be so relevant that it needs to be made available to a broader range of users to build their future scenarios. Governments and Organisations are both responsible for as well as interested in creating products, services, and experiences for the present and the future alike. Designers have the unique ability to propose human-centered solutions for even the most unexpected or dystopian versions of the future.
Therefore we choose to address these two groups - Design and organization to design for the future. We want to understand what is the current approach that designers envision the future design and their difficulties. We conducted interviews with five talents across the creative industry through questionnaire & Skype call, to understand their barriers to design the future. Some of them will take the Business forecasting tools as a reference to get the hand of the future. However, that leads to reactive behavior and little innovation as these toolkits are not tailor-made for the design process. It is considered in the business mindset that thoughtful design being perceived as too abstract and artful for practical outcomes.
We see the opportunity to offer guidance through managing uncertainty that enables Design and organization to better engage with the future.
Solution The Futuring Platform is a web-based resource marketplace for designers and organizations to create better futures proactively. The design constraints and boundaries the platform provides help users engage more tangibly with future contexts and overcome their anxiety in dealing with the unknowns of the future.
Client: NASA Team: Xiaosu Lai, JeeYoon Hong, Christian Perstl Start: Oct 2016 | Finish: Jan 2017 Tutor: Dr. Ronald Jones
Ovolo Hotels Collaterls
A series of creative hotel print collaterals for Hong Kong Boutique Hotel Ovolo Hotels.
Dailyware by Kelly Li
Dailyware by Kelly Li is a ceramics brand by Hong Kong-based ceramic enthusiast Kelly Li. The brand was founded in 2014 with the love for handcrafted ceramics. It reflects Kelly’s belief that handmade ceramic pieces should be simple, durable and comfortable to use for everyday life.
The brief is to establish a sense of uniqueness for craftsmanship and closeness with its user. In the concept development, I start with the focus on hands, emphasizing the imperfections of hand-made ceramics. It is the imperfections that bring value, which makes it distinct from mass production. The logo design is developed from a series of ink stamping experiments. Besides the logo graphics, I also create a series of visual collaterals and editorial shots that embody the contemporary, down-to-earth attitude of the brand. For more information about her works, please go to: