about the project

sexual violence

design process






giga map

systems intervention


service "emotional" blueprint

concept one: safety blanket

concept two: information system

concept three: sexual assault center


a special thanks


media and presentations

projects that address sexual violence

contact us

expand designing for dignity

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Designing for Dignity by Manuela Aguirre and Jan Kristian Strømsnes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

For more information about the award and the project, watch this press release by TV2 (only in Norwegian).

Happy to be a student runner up in the
Core77DesignAwards 2013 in the Service Category. Thanks for the great juries - Enzio Manzini, Matteo Bartolomeo, Anna Espreafico and Anna Meroni. You can check the jury´s feedback in this video.

Congratulations to the other winning projects: MIOS, Global Service Jam, BBVA, Community Slate, Welcomesburg, Skynex and Klink - Designing for Dignity is happy to be part of the global community of service designers.

article published by Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK)

Designing for Dignity received the Norwegian Young Talent Award 2013. The ceremony took place in Oslo the 17th of April, 2013 and was sponsored by the Norwegian Design Council.

Designing for Dignity presented in the seminar "Designrollen i endring" at Bergen National Acadamy of the Arts (KhiB) together with inspiring presentations by Tor Inge Garvik at Laerdal Global Health and Per Aarvik with the presentation "Digital frivillighet i kriser" 02.12.2013

Designing for Dignity presentation at the Oslo and Akershus Universty College of Applied Sciences (HiOA), thanks for the great workshop by product design students. 31.10.2013

Designing for Dignity was exhibited in Shanghai at the Nordic Design and Innovation Week from Nov 1-10, 2013. Rachel Troye, Prorector at Oslo School of Archictecture and Design (AHO) and Jan Walter Parr, Eggs Design, focused their presentations on Norwegian Service Design in the fields of the public health care sector and the maritime sector. Amongst others, was the project "Designing for Dignity" presented for the audience, where AHO graduates have designed solutions that dignify the medico-legal process a victim goes through after a sexual assault.

Click here to go to the INDEX Award nomination site

With this project, we designed solutions that dignify the medico-legal process a victim goes through after a sexual assault.

By co-creating with victims of sexual crimes, the medical and legal care teams, social workers and designers they have come up with suggestions to improve a victims’ path to recovery: A blanket that secures DNA traces after an assault by giving comfort and support; A customized education system with easy language, graphics and a "wise friend" tone; Architectural and design guidelines for sexual assault medical centers, which gives a form/space to the victims’ needs.

We intend to understand a complex field -sexual violence- using design methods. This project is based on personal interviews and workshops with the people that work daily in preventing sexual crimes and helping victims with medical, counseling and legal recovery. We want to challenge ourselves in applying our design skills into a complete new area for us, where our main tool at the beggining will be our ears. We will learn from the experts that work with this every day, compare different perspectives from different stakeholders and find potential design opportunities.

Sexual violence is a taboo subject today, and that makes it specially difficult to fully understand the whole picture. We will base our investigation upon real insights of people that work with this field together with victims. We want to find implementable solutions that are co-designed by the key actors and facilitated by us. No country escapes from sexual violence and it is common in all that these crimes are rarely reported. We want to set an example in “safe Norway”, like one of our stakeholders said, by responding to this crime with dignity and giving the control back to the victims; the control that was stolen from them during the assault.

Systems Oriented Design will help us grasp the holistic overview to spot design opportunities that in this case will translate into organizational design, spacial design, information design and emotional journeys. We want to provide to the incredible people that work with this difficult topic every day, a voice through visualizing their efforts so they can show victims how the response system is and hopefully encourage them to get help and not remain in silence. That’s the first step.

If you wish to download any material, please go to Section 18

Project done by:
Manuela Aguirre Ulloa
Jan Kristian Strømsnes

Creative Commons License
Designing for Dignity by Manuela Aguirre and Jan Kristian Strømsnes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

“Approximately 9% women over fifteen years of age in Norway have been victims of serious violence from their current or former partner one or more times in the course of their lives.” (Haaland, Clausen and Schei, 2005)

Compared to other types of crimes, we have realized that sexual crimes are not a big percentage of the total amount of crimes reported in Norway, but these type of crimes are so intimate that they create a big market of fear. This fear has a direct effect on the products and services available for those scared people. Those products and services provide a sort of false security, since they make people feel safer, but in the moment of a real incident, they won’t provide real help.

According to Dr. Helle Nesvold, a doctor at the Sexual Assault Center in Oslo, today, they have around 40 cases of sexual violence a month in Oslo, mostly concentrated during the weekends, but they usually attend one patient a day in average.

“In extreme cases, violence leads to loss of human life, and we know that between twenty and thirty per cent of all killings in the past ten years were committed by present or former lovers, spouses or partners.” (National Bureau of Crime Investigation)

In Norway, the authorities have initiated various activities and programs that aim to prevent and reduce the effects of violence. These include educational programs, knowledge dissemination, awareness-raising and assistance and treatment services. In addition, a number of voluntary organizations deliver key contributions in this field.

By global standards, Norway is a country with very few inhabitants. The population of less than five million is distributed across 429 municipalities. Almost six thousand people out of the total population live in Oslo.

Compared with many other countries, Norway has a low level of violence. According to Statistics Norway’s surveys of living conditions in the period 1987–2007, about five per cent of the adult population in Norway are subjected to violence or the threat of violence during the course of one year. These figures have remained stable in recent decades.

Norwegian society is characterized by social cohesiveness and a high degree of cooperation among various social institutions. The population’s close proximity to the social institutions means that small, concrete activities in the local communities and municipalities can achieve a substantial effect. Likewise, national initiatives can have a significant impact at the local level when there is cross-political agreement on the measures undertaken and a common understanding that coordinated action is needed to address the problem areas.

Creative Commons License
Designing for Dignity by Manuela Aguirre and Jan Kristian Strømsnes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

RESEARCH + INSIGHTS: We want to engage with real users and staff in interviews and co-creation sessions to understand their real needs. Based on those insights, we can co-create solutions and find design opportunities. We hope that a deep study of real insights will help us discover valuable needs.

IDEATION: We want to use creative methods and design to solve the problems generated in the insight and research phase. Based on the user and staff’s needs, we want to visualize solutions. Our goal is to give every stakeholder a shared understanding of the future of their service.

PROTOTYPING: We want to test out the solutions created in the ideation phase as soon as possible. This way we can see if the concept is strong by experiencing its detailed interactions in use. In this phase we want to create scenarios with tangible touchpoints describing its use.

DELIVERY: We want to show were the potential intervention designs in a system that would increase the overall experience of the user. We are dealing with complexity, so we don’t want to chose one solution that will try to solve everything, but many small solutions in synergy.

We started contacting the main key stakeholders involved in prevention because we thought that was a direction our project was going to take us. After having in-depth interviews with many of them, we realized that we had to look into the whole landscape created before and after a sexual crime to have a real holistic approach.

The prevention landscape taught us many things, like all the cultural and moral aspects that are involved, and that the best preventions have to be implemented from an early age; like in primary schools. We also learned that for a successful prevention program to take place, many actors in society have to be coordinated. There are a lot of individual efforts today, a lot of good intentions, but there needs to be a way of merging those efforts into a sincronized collective force.