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Service Design (MA)

Joanne Chiu

Service OverviewThe School of New Ideas is a personalised support service for young autistic individuals. It aims to equip individuals with the confidence to navigate the transitions into adulthood, build connections with peers, and aspire to live impactful lives in a diverse society. Our series of pathways centre around individuals' interests, whilst guiding them toward understanding themselves and setting future goals in a safe non-judgemental environment.
Living with AutismOur Interviewee Kendra sharing her life admin pain.
Life is a Throw-DownThe process of becoming an adult for autistic individuals is a big challenge. Choosing where you want to go and what you want life to look like can be a big question.
We connected with various support groups, collected 66 survey responses, and conducted 30+ interviews from various stakeholders across the service ecosystem, building an understanding of their needs. We ran workshops to ideate and validate our prototypes as we progressed. The impact on design was an understanding of the need for a flexible and tailored support service that was accessible through an individual’s journey.
ImpactThe impact for individuals we provide the autonomy and flexibility to curate their support needs. Partnering organisations can pledge company staff to become mentors, joining the mentor network. This is both a space to share knowledge and inspire future generations and a place to better understand Autism. This understanding feeds back into their organisations, communities and families. Improved understanding and advocacy means less stigmatisation and social isolation.

Joanne was born and raised in Taiwan, with a BA (Hons) Design degree at Goldsmiths, University of London. After that she explored a variety of roles of design including teaching assistant at D-School, National Taiwan University, a co-curator of Dansound Design and Music Festival in Taipei, as well as freelancer for design projects and videography. In her MA Service Design practice at the Royal College of Art, she worked on projects partnered with organisations including believe housing the North East Housing Association, Doctors in Distress Charity, and PA Consulting. Between her studies, her personal experience as an informal carer became a formative influence on her design practice to facilitate the underserved within a complex societal system. Her graduate self-initiated team-based project looked into how service design could better support young autistic individuals transitioning into adulthoods.

Show Location: Kensington campus: Darwin Building, Lower ground floor

My heartfelt interest is in what design may become rather than what it actually is. My BA Design at Goldsmiths has enabled me to provoke meaningful awareness and conversations rather than merely solving problems. During my MA Service Design study at the RCA, I adjusted my focus into human-centric perspectives. Listening to the different decision needs from various stakeholders that influences the complex system as well as the users, I have realised the importance of being a good designer is about how we could effectively facilitate people into the awareness and to further take action differently in their everyday lives.

Design allows me to define new relationships with people and to form unique interpretations of ideas in my own way. My passion is to create valuable impacts of the underserved within a complex societal system. I enjoy collaborating with people from all kinds of disciplines and backgrounds, challenging myself into new ways of thinking and working, bouncing ideas collectively and pushing the creativity and intelligence into the next level.