Joanne Chiu

6 June 2022 - 12 June 2022
MA 2022

Joanne was born and raised in Taiwan, and has a BA (Hons) Design degree from 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 freelance design projects and videography. In her MA Service Design practice at the Royal College of Art, she has partnered with organisations including Believe 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 final self-initiated team-based project looks into how Service Design may better support young autistic individuals transitioning into adulthood.

Joanne has a passion for creating valuable impacts for the underserved within a complex societal system. Her heartfelt interest is in what Design may become rather than what it actually is. She enjoys collaborating with people from all kinds of disciplines and backgrounds, challenging herself into new ways of thinking and working, bouncing ideas collectively and pushing creativity and intelligence to the next level.

Final Project

The 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 towards understanding themselves and setting future goals in a safe non-judgemental environment.

The pathways offer both interactive group work and individual mentoring sessions. Our Autism passport sits alongside the pathways, enabling individuals to track their progress and share valuable information with friends, family and employers.

WIP project 2022

This project aimed at enabling an efficient transition to a future dominated by electric vehicles. We sought to understand different systems to uncover barriers that make it difficult for the UK to be prepared for EVs taking over the streets. Our problem focus was to understand how local authorities and councils are involved in the delivery of EV Charging infrastructure and the difficulties they face in doing so. The service proposition that the project culminated in was a platform to enable cross-council communication and sharing of best practices.


On the Spectrum

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. One in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK. Autism is different for everyone. Autism is a spectrum. This means that everybody with autism is different. We have chosen to focus on those with 'High Functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder' (HFASD) sometimes called Aspergers. 

Early insights gathered from focus groups and contextual interviews show a big drop-off of services available as children become adults. Especially for those not visibly impaired. Parents are struggling just as much as kids with services falling short or being unavailable all together. Many turn to online groups to find comfort, share stories and seek advice. For those who have not got a formal diagnosis the struggles are even more pronounced. With some parents saying they have waited 4 years only to be told they had to wait another year to find out the results. This leaves teenagers who struggle to make small decisions having to make major life choices without support from family or public services. Many parents just do not know what to do and feel unequipped to help their child navigate the complexities of being a neurodiverse in a neurotypical world.

Project Team: Jonathan Hadlow, Joanne Chiu, Yusuke Kanda