People Working Group

The People Working Group was formed because in order to design an effective alternative modular housing solution we felt that the class needed to know more about who would benefit from it so we could produce something that would best meet their wants and needs in relation to housing. As designers, it is crucial that we strive for an understanding of our users in the most complete way possible. Without sufficient knowledge of our target population, we are at risk of designing from our own assumptions and biases. The research we are conducting aims to reduce biases and promote an empathetic understanding.


One of the challenges are class ran into was with language, particularly in how we refer to the collective group of people who may want to use an alternative modular housing structure. As designers, we generally use the term "user" to mean any person

important goal will be to discuss the language surrounding our “users”. In order to align with the values of TWC throughout our project, it is important that we be mindful of the terms we are using as designers. The term “user” is problematic as it dehumanises our target population. We hope to find an appropriate term that can be used to address the people of interest.


As part of our goal of gaining a thorough understanding of our clients we have decided to hold a focus group with members of TWC community.The main goal of conducting this focus group will be to achieve a more accurate understanding of our users wants and needs. We aim to create an open conversation with the social workers and members of TWC in order to ask questions and arrive at solutions that we hadn’t initially identified. We also hope this process can highlight areas where we have been under false assumptions in order to reduce our biases.

Lastly, we hope to ascertain which details are unclear to both our design team as well as the social workers. If we understand that there are certain details which we cannot know, we can be better aware of the assumptions we will need to make in the future. This will act as a main constraint on our final solution.

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Topic revision: r3 - 2015-03-12 - n5john
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