Vinishree Verma (She/Her)
Multi-disciplinary, yet a generalist.
Having over a decade of design experience with diverse range of skills across Research, Innovation, Service Design, UX Design, Industrial design & Architecture. This trans-disciplinary pool of knowledge and experience enables me to utilize research methodologies, collaboration, co-design skills and agile thinking to effectively translate insights into user centric design solutions for products, spaces and services.
I would define myself as an inquisitive and enthusiastic designer who enjoys the process of research and problem solving. My ‘super powers’ are communication, facilitation, story-telling and prototyping. I enjoy working hands on with materials, and always on the lookout for creative ways of self-expression.
I am interested in working on projects having a long-term positive impact on people and planet, through meaningful innovation combining empathy, collective collaboration and future thinking, with a keen interest in circular economy, net zero strategy and sustainability projects.
As a design practitioner, I have always contemplated my positionality and my role as a single entity in contributing to this expansive realm of climate action and sustainability. This motivated me to explore the subject of environmental responsibility in this design-led project.
Net Zero and 'Me'
Step Zero for Net Zero
Investigation into environmental responsibility directed me to few key drivers of change, and one of them being the significance of businesses in climate action. Through this project, I explored the role of design in supporting SMEs and local businesses in their net zero journey.
STEP Zero for Net Zero, is an early intervention workshop for SMEs facing ambiguity and lack of guidance. The workshop embodies in itself, the idea of net zero transition from a state of uncertainty to positivity. It is rooted within my proposal which urges the environmental sector to reimagine the net zero narrative and reframe its status quo.
SMEs and net zero
Net zero Narrative
Reimagine the Net Zero Narrative
Connecting with people
net zero status quo
Step Zero for Net Zero workshop
Net Zero Canvas
Journey of Care
How might we provide the roadmap of rehabilitation for key stakeholders with effective engagement at each touch point?
The brief given by NHS Scotland seeks to bridge the gap between the expectations and experience of rehabilitation, set within the context of a Neurological Rehabilitation center. The patients with Neurological conditions due to brain or spinal cord injury are living at the center for supervised rehabilitation and care.
Our target stakeholders are the inpatients, carer or family, therapists, nurses or the rehabilitation center staff.
Journey of Care is a service design proposition which has evolved from communication and engagement values. This design intent transpired from the evidences arising from the ethnographic research involving
- critical evaluation of online resources & case studies, and
- interviewing different stakeholders within NHS and people with this medical condition & their family.
The proposal addresses the key unmet needs of our target stakeholders:
- lack of awareness and orientation in regards to neurological rehabilitation
- lack of engagement and unpreparedness at the patient’s end
- the problem faced by carers regarding accessibility and communication during the journey of rehabilitation.
Journey of care is a two part service proposal with a digital portal and a physical kit to cater to the varied abilities and needs of the patients.
Journey of Care - Service Proposal
Service Delivery - Service Blueprint
Product as a Service
How might we create a preferable future narrative for services having custodianship of products that benefits the businesses, people & planet?
Geared towards creating a speculative narrative for Product as a Service (PaaS) as a preferable business model for a circular economy, I took the speculative design direction.
Extrapolating the strategy of Product as a Service on the scale of TIME might lend us a future roadmap of a circular reality. Under the lens of preferable future for PaaS, we can filter what we want to see happening and what we don’t want. Speculative design is an incredibly useful design tool for social dreaming while addressing bigger issues in the world.
I planned an online Participatory Design Workshop considering speculative design tools as engagement exercises and chose to include the voices of industry experts in – Technology, Design & Business. This workshop was designed for speculating the future scenarios where businesses will have the custodianship of products. The aim was to co-speculate the transition of the economy from a linear-product based model to more circular-service-based. In particular we looked at how a Product as a Service (PaaS) business model will look 30 years from now, discovering together while rethinking the ownership model for a more circular economy.
In order to compose imaginable future scenarios, envisioning the ‘Product’ as ‘Services to be used/performance’ is the first step. Considering Hygiene products will be transitioned as a service in the next few years, the participants delved further into enquiring its production, consumption and impact in the next 30 years. This exercise revealed some thoughtful insights such as an aspiration of a preferable future with zero waste production, strong directives & regulations, and scope for innovation in bio-design. This timeline also indicated the not-so preferred directions which needs to be considered as the challenges for example water crisis impacting hygiene, another pandemic related to hygiene, impact on animals leading to their extinction, as well as the uncontrolled filling up of landfills.
A complex scenario comes with multifold consequences. Future Wheel is a great tool for widening the perspective and extending the ability to map and recognize these repercussions. The participants were asked to study this future wheel for PaaS which I had extrapolated and further pin point the unintended consequences which they could speculate in the future.
By this time the participants had a heightened sense of understanding about speculating ‘Hygiene products as a Service’ and the repercussions of it for people, businesses and environment. The next engagement tools enabled the participants to speculate a future narrative with an ‘I’ statement.
Desire for a better, kinder and greener future motivated the participants to define the roadmap for ‘Product as a Service’, engraving some key expectations into its framework, elaborating these aspirations for a preferable future for ‘hygiene’ as a service.
Product as a Service
Value based scales
Reimagining Future Scenarios
Future Wheel of Unintended Consequences
Preferable Future Statement
A design-led socio-ecological transition for a sustainable sanitary future.
Award: GSA Sustainability Degree Show Prize 2021 – Highly Commended
We are a team of four concerned citizens who believe in the power of design for envisioning a sustainable sanitary future – Alessandra Pizzuti, Federica Bruschi, Vinishree Solanki and Mihika Mehra.
The local authorities, schools, colleges and public places provide free and easy access to sanitary pads, tampons and reusable pads to whoever needs them. A revolutionary step in itself, it sparked the idea of our team living in Scotland to take the next leap. When Scotland was announced as the first country to address period poverty by making the period products free, the citizens wholeheartedly welcomed this progressive legislation. Therefore, we aim to bring together experts and the citizens of Scotland to start a conversation about sanitary products and provide a platform for encouraging social innovation.
We wanted to extend this access forward to not only period products but to the whole sanitary products domain comprising of baby diapers, adult diapers and period products. A Visionary Hub for collaboration, co-creation and raising awareness while engaging the communities, organisations and government to envision a sustainable sanitary future through innovation and knowledge sharing.
However, we believed that accessibility is only solving a part of the problem, and the major questions it raised was “How might we initiate a sustainable sanitary revolution in Scottish homes and public places to minimize the environmental impact?” and “How is the production and consumption of sanitary products affecting the planet, people and the economies around the world?” Addressing these key concerns to future changemakers, we propose to set up a social innovation hub in Dundee, Scotland. This would be center for experimentation of material, incubation of ideas, workshop space for co designing, a database of scientific and indigenous knowledge, and providing a stage for collaboration.
Impact: Visionary Hub aims for interventions that lead to environmental and social impact, always thinking about the planet and its ecosystem as well as the people and their needs in the social framework. The hub will incubate ideas on bio-degradable solutions for diapers and sanitary pads, accelerating innovation through co-designing with various stakeholders and experts. The goal is to minimise waste generated through sanitary products and develop sustainable waste disposal system.
Raising awareness towards ecofriendly solutions for diapers and pads is crucial as well, and the Hub aims to do that through collaborations with schools, colleges, care homes, gynecologists, pediatricians, healthcare systems and local authorities. Events and workshops will target to educate and spread awareness about reusable and bio-degradable products. The Hub strongly believes in social impact by creating an environment to encourage conversations among communities. It calls for eradicating the taboos existing in society by redefining the preconceived notions within society and highlighting the physical needs of the people.
Creativity & Design: Scotland’s rich biodiversity and natural habitat is already a home to many ecofriendly organizations aiming at preserving the natural resources. Our Visionary Hub takes inspiration from the surrounding Scottish landscape while co-existing with the nature. It aims to create a green architectural space utilising the locally available material and resources. The Hub maintains a digital platform and social media for sharing information about events, a platform for holding virtual talks and dialogues. Another medium of communication for creating awareness is through radio and media, which the Hub extensively uses for its campaigns.
Feasibility: A feasible plan that lays down the process of creating the first of Scotland’s Visionary Hub involves:
– Initial funding through approaching industries supporting social innovation or crowd funding
– Renting co-working spaces
– Collaborating with similar initiatives and enthusiasts
– Developing the website and social media
– Approaching UKRI (UK Research & Innovation – https://www.ukri.org/) for major funding, buying
land in Scotland and building the Hub
– Setup the incubation hub for startups
– Co-creation workshops, events to raise awareness
– Promoting and supporting sustainable companies/ manufacturers
– Exhibiting and sharing the stories and work of individuals
– Increasing access to sustainable products
Scalability: Making Scotland a social innovation leader paving the way for global scalability. The concept is adaptable to different contexts easily as the emphasis is placed on indigenous products and beliefs existing in society. The systems in each country and the situation regarding the availability of sanitary products are different. Scotland is one of the few countries to offer sanitary products for free making it easier to shift focus on purchasing more eco-friendly products. However, in locations where this isn’t possible, and the main problem is the availability of sanitary products, there the primary focus of the hub would be more on education at a grassroots level and then improving access to eco-friendly sanitary products.
Identifying the problem
Considering ‘Future Proof’ and ‘Multi-Generational’ solutions, HOW MIGHT WE IMPROVE WORK-LIFE BALANCE AT HOME?
Activity Clock, is a virtual support system for work-life-balance. The design address all the three key requirements of discipline, connect and reflect.
Journey of Care
The brief given by NHS Scotland seeks to bridge the gap between the expectations and experience of rehabilitation, set within the context of the Douglas Neurological Rehabilitation Centre of Ayrshire & Arran. Goal: Engage with – Communicate to – Provide for – clients.
Journey of Care is a service design that has communication, ownership and engagement as values.
The proposal addresses the unmet needs of the research and stakeholders (patient, carer, staff):
- lack of awareness and orientation in concerns to neurological rehabilitation;
- lack of engagement and unpreparedness for patient and carer;
- carers lack accessibility and communication during the entire journey.
HelloKit & Emotional Board
The DGRC staff will hand the kit to the patient. It contains his portal credentials, which he needs to know, a weekly goal setting tool (short period goals are more achievable) and a roadmap of stages of his rehabilitation. It creates ownership and the empty sections with the question mark will create engagement through the process; those are for customised tools that the staff will add.
The Emotional Board aims to empower the patients by giving them a medium of expression through a physical board instead of the portal; a photo of it can be upload by the staff. Patients’ neurological conditions are many and different, and our statement is to give radical inclusion over the ability and digital literacy. A more comprehensive range of interaction in the service was required.
The portal is a role-based platform to monitor, store and create information about rehabilitation. Role actions:
- Staff can create and edit patient information, use it as a clinical record, handle queries from the carer and manage referrals.
- The patient can monitor his journey and express himself through an emotional diary section. He can find different ways such as mood composition with colours and sounds, a sketch board, the digital version of the room board, or the possibility to upload files.
- The carer can monitor the patient’s journey in the emotional diary and add queries on staff updates.
- The portal points to facilitate communication between actors, manage expectations, ease the referral process, be accessible everywhere, and give a place for patient emotions.
Impact & Viability
Using the system-wide innovation to map our service, we summarised values created across the system. Considering the person’s needs, our proposed service goes out of the centre. It connects various stakeholders, is inclusive and accessible, covering multiple stages of a customised rehabilitation journey and brings awareness while sharing relevant information. It gives clarity and is sustainable as the kit is made of biodegradable material.