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A Breath of Fresh Air - Discovery Project

How might we enable communities with awareness of the effects of air pollution, in a way they can connect with and take immediate and long-term meaningful action?

Equity-centred design//
Ethnographic research//
Qualitative research//
People-centred design in COVID-19//
Co-design and development//
Service design//
Design strategy//


Poor air quality is a pervasive problem, particularly in the highly urbanised, and densely populated areas of Southwark. This has adverse health impacts on people, particularly priority groups such as those with respiratory/cardiovascular issues, older adults and children. The adverse effects impact communities differently which can exacerbate existing health inequalities, particularly with Black and other ethnic communities who  populate some of the higher polluted areas of the borough.

Working in partnership with Rooted by Design (a Social Design House that centres the experiences and needs of Black communities), we engaged with a total of 94 Southwark residents through different research and design methods, and gathered a wide range of insights that generated over 50 ideas for improvements. From the wealth of research and design that emerged from this project we put together 7 recommendations for  Southwark Council to take forward in 2022.

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