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Research

Sean Munson

Winter 2024

Decolonizing Mental Health and Beyond: Building mental wellness with community assets

This DRG is full for winter and no longer accepting applications.

This DRG aims to explore and discover concepts of community mental health and wellness engagement, tools, and artifacts that center the needs of members of the [HCDE? DUB? University?- to be shaped by who joins] community, include those who may not be familiar with mental health services, who could benefit from support and resources for their mental health and wellness.  Through a decolonial lens, we will examine what could exist independently and interact with traditional healthcare models and technologies. 

We will engage in the Discover and Design aspects of the Discover, Design/Build and Test (DDBT) model by Lyon, Munson et al,  and using Pendse’s From Treatment to Healing: Envisioning a Decolonial Digital Mental Health as a guide for our work. 

We will do this work while focusing on the UW Student community- understanding what gaps exist and explore the design space for creating mental health engagement on our own campus and within our departments.  

Outcome

We will host a short informal mental health & wellness showcase conversation, where we share our learnings and low-fidelity (simple mockups) of our ideas.

Planned activities

  • Ground setting: Collecting, Reading and sharing relevant literature across disciplines 
  • Refinement of Interview questions and guides
  • Qualitative (open-ended questions) Interview & Analysis Training
  • Qualitative interviews with your peers

Required availability

  • This DRG is designed as a 2-credit 
    • 2 hours in person discussions
    • 4 hours of independent reading, research and/or interviews
      • If you have extenuating circumstances and you would like to register for a different amount of credits- please share the details in the google form
  • Attend one two-hour discussion/ideation session each week 
    • Schedule TBD
    • Preferably in person- but some hybrid options circumstantially 
  • Work 4 hours outside of class each week engaging in materials or collecting data 
  • Available to recruit your peers to participate in qualitative interviews.

Skills 

  • Growth Mindset
  • Communicative & authentic
  • Curious, excited about following non-traditional learning paths
  • Passionate about supporting mental health in a campus community, with a focus on support for people who have historically been marginalized

This DRG will be led by PhD student Nichole Sams with guidance from HCDE Professor Sean Munson. This DRG is full for winter and no longer accepting applications.


Winter 2024

Everyday Sensor Sharing: Reimagine location sharing / Speculating about the future of digital technology

This DRG is full for winter and no longer accepting applications.

The widespread use of smartphones, location trackers, and GPS-based apps has led to the generation of highly precise geographic location data. While this leads to benefits for users and the companies, it also raises ethical questions. For example, misuse can evolve into severe power abuse and surveillance struggles in current and future everyday life. Thus, it affects interpersonal tensions, social dynamics, and relationships. Yet, little design research has explored how location data is being used as a material for design and can be used for design of social and collaborative systems.

Therefore, this DRG aims to foster a craft-based design research process. By engaging in different design activities we will explore different avenues and perspectives of how location sharing could be integrated into people’s everyday lives. The outcome of this DRG will ideally be one or a series of artifact (s).

Planned activities

  1. Become familiar with what location data “is” as a resource for design: how it can be materialized, worked with, and its limits. 
  2. We will follow principles of participatory design and design ethnography to explore how location sharing is currently implemented in people’s everyday lives.
  3. Design outcome: design proposals or other artifacts. 

Required availability

  • Attend our 2-hour class each week: 
  • Work 4 to 6 hours each week outside of meetings
  • Winter quarter: January 3 - March 4, 2024

Skills

  • Any design skills welcome (e.g., UX/UI design, graphic design, IxD, industrial design, etc.)
  • Research skills: User research/testing, ethnographic research methods

This DRG will be led by PhD student Claire Florence Weizenegger with guidance from Assistant Professor James Pierce (Art + Art History + Design) and Professor Sean Munson (HCDE). 

This DRG is full for winter and no longer accepting applications.


Dr. Munson's Research Group archive