Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health


Intervention Description
Dan Mahoney & Saumon Oboudiyat
Overall Description: 
DS x YN is inspired from the unique spatial configuration of the Jane Addams Place recreation space, yet responds to a deeper discussion of shelter, privacy, and spatial control within a shelter environment. Our product directly affects the day to day lives of guests and staff members by offering a system of units that can expand the possibilities of recreational, educational, personal, and social functions. In the context of the Jane Addams Place, DS x YN will provide opportunities of imagination, leadership, and cognitive development by encouraging users to engage and customize design spaces for various activities. Staff members may engage with guests through tutoring outdoors, creating obstacle courses for the children to play around, and offer shaded space for rest during warmer months to name just a few possibilities. Although we have provided graphic proposals for its use, we encourage children, teens, and adults alike to explore the hidden configurations latent within the design to best satisfy individual and group needs. We are excited to offer chalkboard writing capabilities on the palette systems. This gives users a sense of empowerment, voice, collaboration, and transparency in their daily interaction with the product and each other. Beyond the Jane Addams Place, our product can serve all shelter environments by becoming flexible privacy spaces for shelter environments in both interior and exterior environments, particularly in over-flow rooms where customization of privacy plays a crucial role in the comfort of families looking for refuge.
DS x YN is a trauma-informed approach which attempts to proactively move its user(s) through the positive events, experiences, and effects that one may experience in overcoming trauma. Our initial approach to the design was to establish a product that would manifest the six key principles, through the process of interaction. In the event of encountering the DS x YN within the shelter, for first time and accustomed users, we hope the spaces can foster a community of trust and transparency where feelings and ideas can be safely shared. The assemblage of the product reinforces the value of collaboration and mutuality by expediting the speed and effort it would take for a group to assemble the product versus an individual. Naturally, collaboration brings light to cultural, historical, and gender differences. For example, a group of children from different backgrounds may learn how to overlook preconceived stereotypes through collaboration. The desired effect of our product is to empower individuals to develop leadership, safety, judgment and cognitive skills. Moreover, peer support can be nurtured by means of communication and emotional management skills in how groups interact in and around the formed spaces. Fundamental social skills in children, such as sharing and compromising, can be addressed in how a group may choose to arrange components of the product.
DS x YN is an original concept, no material citations applicable.
The flexibility of our product allows for private spaces or collaborative arrangements to form at the control of any user(s). This gives guests the option to balance their individual needs within a communal space with those of the larger community. In a larger scope, the DS x YN proposes a paradigm shift in what shelter environments could be, where spaces are formed in real-time around the needs of the guests as opposed to guests being fostered in inelastic spatial arrangements that are often constricting or too “open” for certain activities. The very impact of the product is based around this idea, where guests (especially children) can control how their environment is shaped and what activities are carried forward. In a recreational setting, we envision children creating new activities with our product: obstacle courses, tracks for small car races, outdoor classrooms and even event spaces to host social activities. Ultimately, we hope the DS x YN becomes the agent of control that shelter guests desire, in how they carry out their day to day effort to overcome trauma. The trauma-informed standards which our product strives to maintain include stress reduction and the creation of predictable (user-controlled) environments, which we understand to be essential to the remediation of trauma-induced patients. We believe this product revolutionizes the shelter environment in serving as perhaps the most malleable and user-driven physical space within the Jane Addams Place, and potentially, in shelters of other communities. Immediately, the product responds to the common denominator and perhaps the most fundamental desire of humans: creating spaces we can call our own.
Our product requires the manufacturing of each pallet unit and the canvas roofing component. We estimate the assemblage would take up to 5 days for each pair of pallets and the canvas “roof”, assuming two people are working on the fabrication of the product. Add-on component construction and multiple units would increase the fabrication period.
Estimated Cost of Production: 
Do the production costs decrease as the number of units produced increases?: 
Space and Staffing Required: 
No staffing required, the design is intuitive and multi-purpose. The product is designed with the outdoor recreation space in mind, yet is adaptable to other interior and exterior shelter applications. The product also requires minimal storage space.
Does your product require training of shelter staff to use appropriately?: 
Training Details: 
Not applicable.
As the designers, we are focused on ensuring the quality of each component can withstand exterior weather conditions if left uncovered in the elements and is easy to clean. The only funding needed to sustain the product in the future will be if any parts of the product break through wear-and-tear. If well maintained, the product should require no further funding. Any parts that require replacement can be easily acquired and fixed.
Our product would be quite well-suited for other shelter environments. As previously touched upon, the fundamental components of our product offer flexibility in how shelters can arrange spaces, programs, and privacy. The canvas “roof” component protects children against certain weather conditions while playing outdoors. In an interior application, the DS x YN can create private spaces for mothers, quiet spaces for reading or learning, or serve as partitions for sleeping arrangements.
The impact of our product could be measured through a number of ways. In observing the change in character of children, staff members can observe how students will assume responsibility and control over spaces they choose to engage with. By creating a space that allows children be active and social amongst each other, mothers may find opportunity to socialize with one another, and continue their path towards overcoming trauma. Depending on the levels of success with the product, units can be manufactured and customized to create a large array of arrangement options to cater the needs of other larger or smaller shelters. We envision shelving and/or seating units becoming a potential add-on element in future iterations of the design.