How Did We Get Here?
In brainstorming on the wellbeing aspect of the home, we all resonated with the topic of living alone because of its potential effects on mental health. In focusing on mental health, we curated a list of assumptions about living alone, which provided us with context and potential topics to explore.
People who live alone might...
miss their family
have to work away from family
be mentally isolated
experience a cold & quiet house
encounter security issues
have bad food habits
wish for more presence at home
have poor health
have irregular life patterns
be "goose dads"
In order to further explore these assumptions, we interviewed our relatives who have lived alone before. Some conversations that stood out were the ones with our grandparents, because it was difficult to talk to them about emotional topics. We learned that this was mainly due to a cultural barrier about displaying emotions.
This generation grew up in a time where the head of the family should never show vulnerability. It was often hard for us to ask our elders about their life stories because they were uncomfortable talking about their emotions and feelings while living alone.
We chose to address this challenge by designing a solution that could help reduce this cultural barrier and facilitate meaningful conversations and storytelling between Asian elders and kids. In order to do that, our solution needed to give our elders the comfort to communicate freely, which led to the creation of our challenge question:
How might we bridge the generational gaps between Asian elders and kids in a non-intrusive and familiar way?