Making Of

Making Of
Making Of
Making Of
Making Of
Making Of
Making Of

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How might we transform NASA’s big data on air pollution into actionable health benefits for marginalized citizens?

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We created a service ecosystem with public and for-profit stakeholders to enable citizens to speak about and act upon air pollution indicators.

Context

Residents of impoverished neighborhoods in NYC are at high risk of respiratory diseases because of concentrated air pollution from industry and traffic. Additionally, they often don’t have the financial resources to protect themselves from environmental impacts.


In general, most citizens lack the vocabulary and actionable advice to identify and act upon their pollution exposure. Insurance companies, on the other hand, do not sell products protecting young families and small children from airborne carcinogens.


NASA earth science has the technology to collect high-resolution data, but does not know how to operationalize it and create a positive impact on people’s lives.

Solution

NASA Earth Science provides novel air pollution data to insurance providers to create the Better Breather Program (BBP), an insurance product for families and digital natives.


The BBP allows registered customers to track and reduce their personal air pollution exposure. A media campaign promotes BBP products, discounts, and vocabulary. Customers receive real-time discounts, e.g. on public transport and air filters via a digital application. Such incentives help to adopt new behaviors to actively reduce the likelihood of respiratory diseases.


New, anonymized data-sets will feed back into the system, allowing local authorities to issue ‘better breather’ policies for cleaner air, ultimately improving public health

1

System Insight

Despite the development of higher-resolution tools to detect air pollution and describe it scientifically, we have little day-to-day vocabulary to make sense of its patterns and lessen our exposure.

3

Prototype Insight

Public-private relationships have the potential to create credible products impacting citizen’s behaviors, a promising approach to achieve scalable success.

2

Human Insight

Humans are more likely to adopt new behaviors based on incentives and a day-to-day incorporation, rather than traditional didactic, top-down communication campaigns.

Better Breather Program

A B2B2C service system for public health

2016

with Corey Chao, Sonja Rogova

Client/Partner

NASA Earth Science, WeAct for Environmental Justice

Topics

Big Data, Consumer Behavior, Public Health

Approaches

Service Design, Storytelling, Branding & CI, Design Fiction, UX Design

Output

Service Strategy, Marketing Campaign, Product Prototype, Digital Mock-Up

Project Details

System Blueprint

Air pollution data from NASA’s Tempo Satellite is translated into a new vocabulary through the Better Breather Program. The program funds ads, forecasts and online touchpoints to disseminate the new vocabulary, pollution information and suggested actions and directs citizens to BBP customer service. Customers will receive personalized materials based on their demographics and needs.

© Christian Smirnow, Corey Chao, Sonja Rogova

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Concept Framework

The BBP aims to solve three latent needs in society: (1) Disperse knowledge and create awareness about air pollution, (2) Motivate citizen participation and generate new data, (3) Provide new tools for awareness and protection.

© Christian Smirnow, Corey Chao, Sonja Rogova

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BBP App Mock-Up

A registered customer uses the BB App to get the most recent information about their air pollution risks based on geo-data tracking. The visuals indicate high rates of PM 2.5 on the usual above-ground route to the kindergarden. The app suggests to use the subway and gives direct access to the Cough’n’Ride discount that’s relative to the amount of air pollution.

© Christian Smirnow, Corey Chao, Sonja Rogova

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"Lungsquash" Video Commercial (Screenshots)

Video commercials on TV and online promote new words and their meanings in the context of the Better Breather Program awareness campaign.

© Christian Smirnow, Corey Chao, Sonja Rogova

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"Transgressive Stream" Video Commercial (Screenshots)

Despite the development of higher-resolution tools to detect it and describe it scientifically, we have little day-to-day vocabulary to make sense of its patterns. Articulate Matter is a set of words that highlight everyday air pollution indicators and related health effects. The vocabulary is embedded in the BBP.

© Christian Smirnow, Corey Chao, Sonja Rogova

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PM-Patina Air Filter Discoun

(1) A BBP customer is prompted to visit a local hardware store to redeem her discount voucher for a new air conditioner filter. (2) She purchases the filter using the new vocabulary during the initial interaction with the informed service-staff at the store. (3) The product helps her improve the air quality insider her family’s home.

© Christian Smirnow, Corey Chao, Sonja Rogova

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Cough‘n‘Ride MTA Discount

(1) A BBP customer receives a personalized welcome letter about the MTA Couch‘n‘Ride discount that adjusts subway fares based on pollution levels. (2) The registered client was directed to an MTA sales booth and used the newly acquired air pollution vocabulary. (3) The Cough’n’Ride card allows him to get discounts whenever the air pollution is extremely high in New York.

© Christian Smirnow, Corey Chao, Sonja Rogova

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Billboard with new pollution vocabulary

Articulate Matter is a set of words that highlight everyday air pollution indicators and related health effects. The vocabulary is embedded in the BBP and promoted as an awareness-campaign on billboards and within subway advertisements.

© Christian Smirnow, Corey Chao, Sonja Rogova

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Pollution Vocabulary

Despite the development of higher-resolution tools to detect it and describe it scientifically, we have little day-to-day vocabulary to make sense of its patterns. Articulate Matter is a set of words that highlight everyday air pollution indicators and related health effects. The vocabulary is embedded in the BBP.

© Christian Smirnow, Corey Chao, Sonja Rogova

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Contact

Christian Smirnow

Torstr. 24

10119 Berlin, Germany

smirnowstudios@gmail.com

Impressum DE

Imprint EN

© 2020 Christian Smirnow

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Making Of

During site visits to community gardens, innovation spaces, and townhall meetings, we discovered strong statements among the population against pollution.