A Conduit for Conversation
The Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver, BC, is home to over 10,000 marginalized individuals, many of whom are transient drug users. Based upon the model of Insite, Canada's first legally supervised injection site, located in the heart of Vancouver's DTES, my design partner and I initiated a year-long research and design challenge to determine what a supervised inhalation site might look like.
The outcomes of this project were secondary to the transformative experience as a researcher and designer. Participatory design strategies in this context shaped our understanding of what empathy really means and how ethical research is an integral piece of the process.