Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4625-4628
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Present paper show results of an experience in an International Summer School Workshop organized by Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and Fuelfor (Spain).
The topic of the WS was Active Welfare and was organised in collaboration with the local healthcare agency “ASL CN1” of the Piedmont’s province of Cuneo.
Active Welfare topic was approached in three main fields: Rehabilitation, Access to care and Obesity. This presentation is addressed to design methodology for obesity topic.

For the World Health Organization, obesity is the condition of excessive fat in the body, and had significant health consequences. It is associated with an increased risk to develop certain diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, sleep disorders.
In Cuneo (Italy) a new program is being designed to address the issues of severe obesity, but there is at the moment no program for obesity prevention.
Our work was focused to improve Active Welfare trough people participatory approach since a healthy lifestyle is essential in counteracting obesity.

Design process, field research and problem definition
Design aids a better understanding of people who use and provide services; it offers a range of tools and processes to support working together to develop common strategies and to achieve improvements.
More specifically applying co-design approaches permit to drive a process where patients and staff come together to share experiences and ideas.
In order to define the problem, the first step after a general information background research, was to arrange several on-field activities to allow participants to engage first-hand with local people in their context.
The Obesity team met a patient in the first step of the program for severe obesity, a dietician and a nutritionist in order to capture their experiences and had a meeting with the person responsible of the program in order to map the service.
Met citizens and visited schools, squares, food markets and other significant places for the healthy lifestyle.
The result was a set of rich findings documented through written notes, sketches, photos and video, and fundamentally a deep awareness of the complexity of the obesity problem.

Ideas generation and concept developing
The Obesity group defined interesting areas organizing hot spots in different levels: individuals, community, facility and city.
After mapping the complexity of the problem, the designers team worked on finding chances using the “what if…?” methodology.
In order to focalize the attention, the team voted for the more interesting questions that were going to guide the next step: concept development
The designers group developed several concepts to approach the problem, many of them about prevention. Each designer presented the own concept of product, service or system. The natural process was to integrate several ideas in a big service-system for obesity prevention at an urban scale. The proposal was focused on two principal axis, information on different levels and exercise awareness.
Before developing the last version of the proposal, the team discussed the ideas with the local expert.

Some conclusions regarding workshop experience has been organized in 4 areas:
1 Problem’s complexity calls systematic design and solutions.
2 Field research as fundamental step in design process.
3 Local partners and actors as co-designers
4 Intercultural experiences and perceptions
healthcare, human centred design, obesity, co-design.