Each year, the University and College Designers Association (UCDA) elicits designers to support a social issue. Voluntarily, our team chose to address the proposed engagement challenge of suicide prevention. Utilizing a collaborative design process, we developed a guerilla-style campaign, which focused on bringing the topic of teenage suicide into everyday vernacular. Ultimately, our solution was selected as a finalist by the UCDA and shared with educational campuses for distribution.
Research & Findings
To appropriately address a complex challenge like suicide prevention, we explored various resources to analyze the problem space. Through sensemaking and pattern-finding, we identified the “taboo” that surrounds the issue of suicide as a root problem, which leads to a lack of dialogue about the subject in the larger community.
How might we address the lack of dialogue about suicide among teens in the US.
Results & Outcomes
Through a series of divergent explorations into possible solutions, we developed objective criteria in order to determine the most appropriate solution as a guerilla-style campaign that would be distributed to teen by teens.
The primary message of the campaign was “Talk – Start a conversation that stops suicide,” and consisted of three printed pieces: vinyl decals, sticky notes, and stickers. Intended for use in schools, these materials had potential to be extended into personal environments and public spaces, thereby imposing the issue of suicide while calling for simple immediate action.