Yusuke Kanda is a service and experience designer, who is very keen to seek practical approaches to design for positive social and cultural change. He is passionate about seeking design approaches for tackling many inequity and exclusion issues people face in today’s more complex world.
His passion comes from his educational and professional backgrounds. When he studied sociology at university, he participated in the activities of an organisation for preserving and reactivating traditional houses in Kyoto, Japan. Through the experience, he wrote the graduation thesis about the citizens' community-building actions using art and design in a local area.
After graduation, he has been designing websites and digital services for various industries in Japan for years. The strength in his profession is to propose design plans clearly and logically. In addition, he prides himself on collaborating well with team members through visual thinking.
These experiences encourage him to multiply the power of design and social actions for a better future. After entering Royal College of Art, he has engaged with service design projects, especially ones in the social impact area, including his final project, "The School of New Ideas". Those practices during RCA represent his attitudes as a designer.
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.
“I am” is a packaged programme aligned with a pilot led by our collaborator, Catch22, which encourages people on probation (POP) to be aware of and express themselves for their stable emotion conditions and better relationships with others. It delivers a guidance leaflet for helping navigator mentors from Catch22 to build trust with the POP and facilitate the programme.
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