Løft Blikket

A masters thesis by Einar Lukerstuen 2021

Advisors: Haydn Evans, Josina Vink and Birger Sevaldson

The project lies at the intersection between service- and system-oriented design.

Thesis in Norwegian.

WHAT: Lift your eyes is a design project that explores how design can contribute to creating a more human-friendly innovation foundation for challenges that extend across the boundaries of our public service systems. I explore this through designing for the societal challenge of drug addiction.

WHY: Through the project, I learned that within the drug field, we deal with very complex and complex human situations, which in turn are in contact with complex service systems. It emerges that, by not addressing this complexity, we have created services that, in many cases, are perceived as confusing and intimidating for the recipients and exhausting for the providers. It appears that our services are organized in such a way that the service recipients risk receiving the wrong treatment, which can make the situation worse for everyone. Many therefore end up not seeking help. The bereaved end up in challenging in-between roles where one is at the mercy of personal resources to cope with the situation. At the same time, the service providers also risk bad experiences during their working days and risk becoming disillusioned and ill.

WHERE FROM: To believe that one should be able to solve such a problem during a master’s thesis is naive at best. And my fear has been to create a naive solution proposal that, instead of improving something, reproduces the errors that already exist in our service systems. Even though I don’t have the power to solve a challenge of this magnitude, that doesn’t mean I can’t use a design process to explore ways to improve the situation. This motivated me early on to choose an exploratory approach. Instead of taking the perspective of our service systems, I instead wanted to start from the perspective of people’s experiences; Let the people who live in the system share their reflections without defining them in advance or what they can tell. In this project, I, therefore, explore whether we, as designers, instead of working for a specific service, can work independently and for the social challenge drug addiction itself aims to create a foundation for understanding with the hope of producing a more nuanced service -development. As a kind of link in the understanding between people, as well as between people and administration.

HOW: To achieve this, I have worked with a wide range of people: people who experience or have experienced drug addiction, their parents, siblings and children, but also many different people in many different roles as service providers in contact with them. By using visual methods and procedures, we have together uncovered experiences of good and bad, and made visible complex paradoxes and connections that I have called Insight. We have used these to provide room for reflection, interpretation and hope. And on the basis of all this, through a co-creation process, we have worked out various solution areas that we call Utstyn, which were again evaluated and transformed into Ettertanke. The afterthoughts give a richer picture of the waters in which service development in this field is to be launched and put the finger on reefs and passengers on the road to more human-friendly service offerings. This has created value in the form of a reflection process for the participants. At the same time, the process has resulted in an investigation that will be able to inform relevant decision-makers and service developers, the press and politicians, but also people who are in contact with the challenge area, both as recipients and as providers.