Seismo – Toolbox : Sensitive approach to teenagers looking for orientation

Master Thesis by Hannah Zenk, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Zuerich, Switzerland 2010:

The toolbox Seismo provides an audio-visual demand analysis through an authentic and sensitive approach to underprivileged teenagers.

How can design help social youth work play an important, trendsetting role in the future? Which design tool can foster its mutability, credibility and efficiency? This Master Thesis shows an interdisciplinary approach with the aim to motivate positive social change through design.

The research process (Guided Interviews, Cultural Probes) revealed that the specific target group requires new, adequate methods. A target group that is looking for orientation, who is not keen on going to school anymore and whose favorite media are not texts.

The design idea is therefore the interactive workshop-toolbox “Seismo” providing a qualitative, audio-visual demand analysis. “Seismo” is about self-reflexion and creative expression, play and social interaction.

The Toolbox was tested in 10 workshops in the context of the Bachelor course “Empathic Design”. 100 teenagers helped to optimize “Seismo” through Participatory Design.