BarnRaise 2015: Day 2!

We're halfway through BarnRaise and we're thrilled with the amount of work our teams have accomplished already!

Panel Discussion


The day kicked off with an insightful panel discussion during which two sets of designers and healthcare practitioners--Kim Erwin and Jerry Krishnan, and George Aye and Raed Mansour--shared some insights they had gained from working together. Memorial Sloan Kettering's Ophelia Chiu did a wonderful job moderating a discussion that gave participants some important considerations for their team sessions later on in the day. 

We've pulled out some highlights from the discussion:

Panelists on context:

  • US healthcare is leading in discovery science but lagging in delivery science
  • Design is a natural fit with healthcare because they share value systems

On communicating:

  • In a healthcare context, it's not useful to explain to people what design is. Words are empty vessels. The best thing to do is show them. 
  • Sometimes the research methods from the two fields are similar but designers and healthcare practitioners are using different language to describe them. Designers need to use language like "change" and "behavior" that doesn't require prior knowledge.

On how designers had to shift to be effective in the healthcare space:

  • It can be difficult for designers, who come from a methodological point of view, to explain their work to an evidence-based community. Designers need to be able to communicate and justify the choices they make and explain the origin of the methods they use. 
  • To aid communication to healthcare professionals, it might be useful for designers to describe their work as "pre-hypothesis"--as the work that determines which hypotheses we should go after. 

On potential barriers to impact:

  • Healthcare innovations need to pair the development of an idea with the development of people's readiness for that idea, otherwise you run the risk of generating a wonderful artifact that doesn't get used.
  • Leadership buy-in isn't enough for design to succeed in a healthcare context. Buy-in needs to trickle all the way down.

Crash Courses

After our morning panel, participants chose between two crash courses designed to establish some common ground before participants split into teams. 

Design Crash Course for non-designers

Philips Healthcare sponsored a wonderful design crash course for participants who were new to design. Philips' Knowl Baek defined design thinking, showed some of the design process, and dove into empathy. Participants then paired up and did an exercise around redesigning the sick day for their partner. 


Alice Ro of Memorial Sloan Kettering discussed obstacles and barriers that designers will face throughout the design process when working with human subjects in the healthcare space. She then presented design tools that are particularly powerful and effective in the healthcare context.                     


Team Work

After the crash courses our thirteen teams split up to start digging into their challenges. Under the guidance of design firm facilitators and community partner representatives, teams conducted primary research, analyzed their findings, started to pull out insights and some even conduct structured, rapid concept brainstorming. Some teams went out into the field to conduct their primary research and many others had users come to them for in-person interviews or conducted phone calls. 

Below you can find some great pictures snapped by our team Ambassadors.


IIT Institute of Design, 350 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL, 60654, United States