Written by Fang Zhong, from Tsinghua University DESIS Lab

At the beginning of 2020, just as everyone was looking forward to the Chinese New Year, the people of the whole country suddenly entered a national anti-epidemic action. In the past month, no matter where we are, we have strictly followed the national requirements for the prevention and control of the infectious diseases, locked our doors and stayed at home. 1.3 billion people share the same sorrow as well as the air.

This is an unprecedented isolation. Most public places are closed, ordinary people reduce all unnecessary trips, daily life is completely restricted, and the epidemic area that completely interrupts traffic is even more difficult. The extremely convenient online service fails, and people need to figure out various ways to purchase groceries; elderly people with chronic illnesses cannot seek medical treatment on time, and even children with the quarantined parents are left unattended … Being immersed in the information everywhere and every day, many people are overwhelmed by anxiety, sadness, anger and other emotions, which will impact people deeply for a long time. The epidemic also exposed deeper social problems. The Hubei driver who was driven away on the highway and unable to return home, medical staff who fought day and night in the hospital but were excluded by their neighborhood, the oversea Chinese who were far away from the epidemic area but had to face the racism. The epidemic is like a mirror, reflecting the good and evil in the depths of human nature.

In this epidemic, we are ordinary people, but meanwhile, also designers and design educators. Given the most fundamental definition of design is “providing solutions,” here, we advocate “Design out Isolation.” Although we are one step behind, it is the necessary reflection and positive action that we have to do. We call for the design action with the context of this outbreaks and based on our real experience. Whether it’s solving everyday problems under the isolation, or targeting the psychological and social issues, we need more creativity, more sincere care, and a more humane empathy.

The initiative was launched on February 20 by the DESIS Lab of Tsinghua University. Currently, five members of DESIS China are involving with the undergraduate and master courses of service design and system design with this design theme. The current design concepts proposed by the students include the popularization of personal protection knowledge, community epidemic prevention platforms, community mutual assistance tool, and volunteer support for vulnerable groups. Community workers, psychologists, restaurant owners, etc. were invited to conduct online interviews and instructions to make up for the missing field research.

At present, most provinces in China have already been “out of isolation”, but we will remain in the state of national epidemic prevention for a long time before the life completely returning to normal. This design project is not only an exercise, but also an action serving the society for the “post-isolation” state. It will also make a small contribution to countries that are still fighting the virus.


2020 年伊始,正当大家盼望新年之际,全国人民突然进入到全面抗疫的行 动当中。在过去的一个月中,无论我们身在何方,都严格遵循国家防治传染病的 要求,闭门谢客,居家隔离。十三亿人民同呼吸,共患难。

这是一次史无前例的大隔离。大部分公共场所都关闭,普通人减少了一切不 必要的外出,日常生活全面受限,全面中断交通的疫区更是寸步难行。平时极度 便利的平台服务失灵了,人们需要想出各种办法来采购日常所需;慢性病的老人 无法按时就医,甚至有家长被隔离而无人照料的儿童……由于每天沉浸于大量真 真假假的信息之中,很多人无法从焦虑、悲伤、愤怒等情绪中挣脱,又因为无法 通过朋友聚会、外出散心等方式排解,长时间处于非健康的心理状态。疫情也暴 露出更深层次的社会问题,流落在高速公路上被四处驱逐又无法回家的湖北司机, 在医院日夜奋战却被自己小区排斥的医务人员,远在异国他乡却被无辜牵连的国 外华人,疫情如同镜子,照出人性深处的善恶百态。

我们既是这场疫情中的普通人,但同时,我们都是设计师和设计教育者,而 设计最根本的定义是“提供解决方案”。在此,我们倡导“战胜隔离的设计”(Design out Isolation)。尽管已经来迟一步,但这是我们不得不做得反思和积极行动。我 们呼吁以疫情为背景,以我们的亲身经历为根据,探讨在极端的隔离条件下的可 行方案。无论是解决隔离条件下的日常困境,还是面向心理和社会层面的问题, 我们都需要更好的创意,更真诚的关怀,更人性的理解。

此次倡议由清华大学 DESIS 实验室于 2 月 20 日发起,目前 DESIS 中国的 五个成员院校响应参加。各校在已有的服务设计、系统设计等课程基础上,引导 同学进行主题设计,目前的设计概念包括了个人防护知识普及、社区防疫平台、 社区生活互助平台、弱势群体支持等不同方面。在项目进行过程中,邀请了社区 工作者、心理学家、餐厅业主等进行线上访谈和交流,以弥补难以实施的实地调 研。

目前,中国大部分省份已经陆续接触隔离状态,但在彻底恢复正常之前,还 将有很长一段时间处于全民防疫状态。这次设计项目,不仅是教学练习,我们更 希望能够以设计服务于社会,为“后隔离”状态的中国,也为尚在与病毒搏斗的 各国做出微小的贡献。