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HOME IN PROGRESS Designing Systems of Collective Care for Migrant Communities through Food and Multi-Sensory Experience

SEONA JOUNG


Dedicated to my mom, dad and sister.


Š Copyright 2020 by Seona Joung All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retreival system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission in writing from the author.

For inquiries, contact seona.joung@gmail.com seonajoung.com

School of Visual Arts MFA Products of Design

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M FA P R O D U C T S O F D E S I G N THESIS 2020

HOME IN PROGRESS Designing Systems of Collective Care for Migrant Communities through Food and Multi-Sensory Experience

DESIGNED & WRITTEN BY SEONA JOUNG EDITED BY JAMIE MCGHEE


“Home is constantly updating and evolving.” PICO IYER

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272m One in every thirty, international migrants in the world is living in a country that is not their own. Defined as anyone who changes their “country of usual residence� – migrants make up 3.5 percent of the global population.


Abstract


The basis of this thesis is migration which is itself is a design process; people moving from one place, one country and one culture to another and how these transitions affect the migrants’ identity and health. The project aims to explore the multiplicity of being in between two or more places or cultures and how we, as a society, can create space for collective care. The suite of design projects not only interrogate this topic through food cultures and rituals of fermentation but create space to intentionally engage and connect through products of design. The designed products raise questions of the current US immigration policies of assimilation and individualistic approaches and inform the systemic goal of integration of immigrants. Navigating the multiplicity of locations, cultures, and identities of an individual migrant is not an individual task. Transformation and healing of an individual requires a paradigm shift in the way we think about advocating safe space for authenticity and connection.


Table of Contents G L O S S A RY

FOREWORD Personal Statement - 2 Thesis Statement - 4 Literature Review - 8

CONTEXT Fermentation as a Narrative - 38

Designing Sensuous Experiences - 50 Navigating Migration - 64

PROCESS Humanism and Speculative methods - 88

Who, What, Wow: Defining Users and Pain Points - 94


PROJECTS Dinner Therapy - 108 Where are you local? - 118 Gut Talk - 140 Ongi - 158 DinDin - 174 We Are What We Eat - 196

CLOSING THOUGHTS Coming Back Home - 212 Living Back at Home - 214 To Be Continued - 216

ADDENDA Bibliography - 218

Acknowledgement - 222


Glossary Circular Migration Repeated cycles of back-and-forth mobility over a period of time for the purpose of economic activity or study, which takes place within a legal framework allowing facilitated re-entry between two or more countries. Many economic migrants are motivated to improve their living conditions and to find better work. As they move to a foreign country, their family stay back home in which the migrants have to go back to their home country. Migrants go back and forth on different paths and routes as their identities and perspectives change and it can be hard to keep going in their circle permanently for low income migrants. Non-permanent, circular migration. While such mobility has a long history, international circular migration is occurring on an unprecedentedly large scale. Modern forms of transport and communication have reduced the friction of distance between origin and destination countries. And migrant workers can obtain the best of both worlds in that they can earn in high-income destinations and spend in low-cost origins.


Embodiment For something to be embodied, it must be perceptible by the body, or related to something that the mind has understood through bodily experience.

Fermentation The process involved in the making of beer, wine, and liquor, in which sugars are converted to ethyl alcohol. Fermentation is a technique used for preservation of flavor of food and is widely used in migration culture. The culture in fermentation is a starter which performs fermentation. The Culture in our community and to anthropologists, it’s a core ingredient that encompasses social behavior and norms in human societies. The chef David Zilber said that “culture” and “culture” mean two different things to a biologist and an anthropologist, but in fermentation, they overlap completely.


Glossary Global Care Chain The term coined by feminist sociologist A. Hochschild has been brought into the limelight by interest in understanding how transnational life is sustained. The feminisation of migration, the use of new information and communication technology (ICT) and the loss of social class due to mobility, which are characteristic of modern migration, allowed issues related to social change and social reproduction to be united, while giving visibility to concerns with care, transnational families and transnational family ties.

Identity Economy How our conception of who we are and who we want to be may shape our economic lives more than any other factor, affecting how hard we work, and how we learn, spend, and save. The limits placed by society on people’s identity can also be crucial determinants of their economic well-being.


Locality Relational and contextual concept that is both people and place oriented. Traditionally, people are rooted in one place only, and locality is thus taken for granted as single centered. Immigration, however, is a process that problematizes such a notion of locality. Locality is a point of departure from which we orient ourselves in the world.

Multilocal Being identified with more than one location; concerned with the dynamics of mobility, migration and sociospatial interconnectedness. Multilocality is used to describe sociospatial dynamics and processes of simultaneity and identity formation that transcend boundaries.


Glossary Migrant vs Immigrants Migrant is a broad term that includes refugees and those moving for economic reasons and some may wish to return home one day. Migrant is a broder term and It simply means someone who is in the process of relocating to another country or place, or someone who has already moved. Immigrant refers to those who have moved to a foreign country with the intention of settling there. Immigrants in the U.S. are ‘legal permanent residents’ or those with green cards. In my design proposals, I use both of these words to refer to people who move internationally both permanently and for an extended period of time.


Place Polygamy Social theorist Ulrich Beck’s (2000) notion; marriage to several places at once, belonging in different worlds. For migrant communities, the experiences of “transnational place polygamy” can often be more harrowing than the experiences of the average tourist or student. Ulrich Beck writes that processes of globalization encourage a sort of “transnational place polygamy,” in which migrating individuals become attached to “several places at once, belonging in different worlds” through a process of cultural mixing, adaptation, and the “globalization of biography.”


Glossary Translocal Trans - across, beyond. Crossing an undefined border Local - geographic spot, materialistic, territory An open, non linear process which produces close interrelations between people and places. It involves exchange and network. Translocal has multidimensional effect where more than two parties/ sites are involved. The conditions and events at one locality have impacts on other places with limited processes and flows in time. Translocals often have to renegotiate their identities between the two or more localities.


‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy In the late spring of 2018, criminalizing all adults who cross the U.S.Mexico border without papers, and tearing them from their children regardless of age, criminal record, or finding of unfitness. “Zerotolerance” sent these adults into criminal custody while their children were falsely reclassified as “unaccompanied” minors and sent to the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Immigration officials executed this administration’s family separation policy without an official tracking system in place, making it nearly impossible to find all the impacted children.


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Foreword Personal Statement 2

Thesis Statement 4

Literature Review 8


PERSONAL STATEMENT

There are 270 Million people in the world who are living in a country that is not their own. Defined as anyone who changes their “country of usual residence,� - these people make up 3.5 percent of the global population. Pico Ayer, a travel essayist says for these people, home is constantly updating with multiple homes of belonging. As an avid traveler and an immigrant myself, I often dwell in-between multiple cultures and it affects my well-being and daily experiences. My own relationship to this topic is a personal journey of becoming a designer with an authentic voice as an advocate for safe societies that allows for people to be themselves. There is no one story of migration. They range from those with more choices to no choice at all including refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants who move for the better quality of life. The children of immigrants who did not have a choice to be born in the country that is not the origin of their parents. Not only are there multiple layers to the type of migrants, the experiences they go through are very different and complex. One common experience is leaving home - uprooting from the familiarity and uncertainty while moving in between multiple places.

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When I walk through the streets of New York City and pass by the Nuts 4 Nuts Carts, it instantly takes me back to streets in Korea. The honey roasted nuts that came to New York City by way of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1984 - not only does it smell like Korean street snacks, it represents mobility, transcience, impermanence and uncertainty that many immigrants experience.

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Migration problematizes locality and physically divorces people from places.

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THESIS STATEMENT

Globalization has challenged traditional concepts of belonging between people and places. People, ideas, information, capital and technologies are flowing around the globe further and more rapidly than at any other time in history. At the heart of globalization is immigration, the movement of people - along with their ideas, information, capital and technologies - moving around the globe in acts of permanent or long-term relocation. Migration problematizes locality and physically divorces people from places. It also begets trauma, pain and conflict. The dislocation forms gaps in their values and identities. Many immigrants leave their home localities for work, educational opportunities, or to escape climate disasters and violence. In doing so, they are both leaving behind and bringing with them facets of culture that might be lost or leveraged. How do contemporary immigrants develop a sense of belonging to multiple spaces by design, maintaining links to their places of origin even as they reside in distant lands? As the labor markets become so dynamic and short-term that people cannot easily refuse mobility, how can design address the changing localities to meet individual needs?

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My thesis questions how design constructs and narrates a new relationship between people and multiple locations and thus serves as an ideal site to interrogate how immigrants relate to their place of origin and their place of residence. Looking at the impacts on what migration on the family relationships and social structures that influence migrant identity and health, my design leverages identity experiences, specifically those triggered through the preparation and consumption of food, in order to explore these issues.

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World Migration Map based on data from the U.N. Population Division (http://metrocosm.com/global-migration-map.html).

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L O C A L IT Y, S PAT I A L IT Y A N D S E NS O R I A L IT Y IN THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE: A LITERATURE REVIEW

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Multilocality: Here, There, Everywhere, Nowhere Although international migration divorces people from physical places, migrants remain connected to their home cultures through objects, systems and food. Moving to new places comes with unfamiliarity. Navigating a new place entails both legal and social stress factors, from crossing the borders to adapting to unfamiliar cultural spaces, which manifests in new identities and belonging. Robert Nadler positions the concept of multilocality by sketching out the different types of mobility and migration. Using Peter Weichhart’s observation of multilocality as the ‘bodily nature’ of the human being, which is always physically located in space, human beings have to satisfy physical as well as social, economic and cultural needs. As he differentiates forms of spatial mobility to the main criteria of time (everyday movement vs. unique move with permanent intention), Nadler states that multilocality means living at multiple homes, living one’s everyday life in geographically distant places simultaneously

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Literature Review

in one’s own perception (Nadler, 2009). Acknowledging this social reality of belonging to multiple cultures and places is a crucial step to navigating the complexity of migration experiences. Designing everyday infrastructure and services within multilocal life can address needs through the rituals of daily routines, which imbue the act of traveling with a feeling of home.

Social Identity + Values Gender Equality Wellbeing Belonging

Cultural Religious beliefs Privacy Customs and traditions Rituals

Economic Skills + Production Governance + Equity

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Literature Review

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Literature Review

Multilocality

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Long Distance Families and Family Separation With immigration comes family separation, which has been one of the central features of migration and immigration. While many people travel with close family, most immigrants leave behind parents, grandparents and the extended networks that form the foundation of culture and kinship everywhere in the world. From economic migrants to refugees who are forcefully separated at borders, family separation has always been one of the most striking stress factors for immigrant families. Regarding multilocality at the family level, family is an everyday construction process. Families are stressed by the multilocal arrangement when it comes to taking care of each other or keeping physically and emotionally in touch. Members of transnational families maintain a sense of familyhood (Bryceson and Vuorela, 2002), in that they continue to feel they belong to a family even though they may not see each other or be physically copresent very often or for extended periods of time. As Baldassar, Baldock, and Wilding 16


Literature Review

(2007, p. 13) write, “the resulting idea of the ‘transnational family’ is intended to capture the growing awareness that members of families retain their sense of collectivity and kinship in spite of being spread across multiple nations.” For some, family separations may be voluntary but when it is forced without any options or choices, it is one of the most inherent sources of stress for many migrants everywhere in the world. As of December 2019, over 5,500 children had been forcibly separated from their parents (Washington 2020). Especially with the current administration’s ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’, many parents are deported from the US without their children at the US-Mexico borders. While being detained some of them have been forbidden from even being hugged. Parents and their children have been separated by American immigration policies for decades, if not longer. Leisy Abrego, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at UCLA, studies Salvadoran migrants, of whom there are around 2 million in the U.S.

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A 2-year-old Honduran asylum-seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. Photo Source: New York Times

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Literature Review

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In her book, Sacrificing Families: Navigating Laws, Labor, and Love Across Borders, Abrego notes that “in the Salvadoran immigrant community … everyone has a sibling, cousin, uncle, or neighbor who lives or has lived away from their children or from their mother and father.” She interviewed children in El Salvador who had been separated from their parents, who had come to work in the U.S. for safety reasons or because they saw no other option to provide money for their children. Although these children weren’t separated from their parents by U.S. officials, Abrego says that the pain they describe in the interviews has traumatized them in similar ways to children separated at the border. This is not only happening in America. Family separation is not new. Lilia Soto, a professor of American studies at the University of Wyoming, says that parents and their children have been separated by American immigration policies for decades, if not longer. One of the earliest documented cases of family separation as policy came in the form of mass deportations during the Great Depression. At local, state, and federal levels, officials launched

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Literature Review

“repatriation campaigns” that removed nearly two million MexicanAmericans—both permanent and undocumented residents—from the United States (Escobar, 2018). Today’s migrating families and cruelty of family separations have been met with more attention and outrage but this is an issue that has been happening for decades. The power of disruptions of children’s early attachments to their parents cause long standing problems such as cognitive, social-emotional and other mental health impacts.

Photo Source: NBC News

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Spatiality and Re-orientations of Belonging Academic Devorah Kalekin-Fishman explores how globalization processes are reflected in the changing sensual experiences of spaces and how lived spaces are shaped. Emotional overload from living in a foreign land is temporarily relieved by any experience that demands and receives immediate satiation with elements of familiarity in spaces. For example, restaurant spaces serve as safe havens that provide the comfort of continuity in a social-cultural milieu of discontinuity in a diaspora. Although the foods served may be modified, the very familiarity of such a setting allows the migrants to feel at ‘home’ in an alien environment, giving them the opportunity to meet fellow immigrants. Serving as a boundary marker to promote national identity, the consumption of food recalls the symbolic significance of food and nutritional practices as symbolism which expresses vital ties of kinship, obligation and reciprocity (Beardsworth and Keil 1997: 59). This act of consumption accompanied by senses cumulatively marks group membership and promotes social solidarity, which involves the drawing of boundaries 22


Literature Review

Soricha Tea & Theatre located in Koreatown, Annandale, Virginia is a cafe that serves Korean traditional tea and desserts with performances that embrace Korean culture. The cafe serves as a place of gathering and entertainment. Photo Source: Soricha Tea & Theatre

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between ‘us’ and ‘them’ (Kalekin-Fishman, 168). This parallels the ways in which immigrants make homes in unfamiliar spaces by using familiar spatial elements--elements that recall their original homes--in order to integrate into the existing local spatial and social structure.”

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Literature Review

Eden Center in Falls Church, Virginia is a hub of many Vietnamese cuisines and specialties. It has been a home for many Vietnamese culture and people for more than thirty years. Photo Source: DC Refined

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The geography of displacement concerns how people cope sensorially with being uprooted and relocated. Sensory experiences function as factors in the construction and embodiment of identities. ‘Sensuous Geographies’ by Paul Roadaway

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Literature Review

Integrated multi-sensoriality: Designing Smell, Touch and Sound Smells, sounds and touch tell many textured stories of immigrants. According to Bonnie Giard, ‘whether it is done with a tool or with the bare hand, the technical gestures call for an entire mobilization of the body, translated by the moving of the hand, of the arm, sometimes of the entire body swinging in cadence to the rhythm of successive efforts demanded by the task at hand’ (Giard 1998: 202 as quoted in Sutton 2001: 128). Kalekin-Fishman highlights the fact that the assessment and estimation of quantities by sight, touch, smell, sound and taste, are all intersensory examples of how ‘home’ is transmitted and experienced. The aspect of place to which people ascribe meaning and the ways in which ethnographers use senses to analyze placemaking practices: This could be a method to analyze how migrants create a new sense of home in a foreign place. Beyond the basic necessities and logistical questions that help migrants survive in a foreign land, using senses to analyze how they can make this place home through familiar

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elements may be able to help the migrants practice placemaking. Belonging in places entails feelings and sensing where you belong. The taste of the food, sound of the music, or hugs from new friends could be part of making a new place feel like home. The connection of ‘bodily nature’ to geographies is grounded in David Howe’s work as well. In Sensuous Geographies, Howe says that focusing on the dimensions of touch in one’s experience of the geography is ultimately in reference to a human body, body and place, and because of the reciprocal nature of touch we come to belong to that space. The sense of place is grounded in the participatory quality of haptic geography in the relationship to places (Howe, 54). Building relationships with the environment through simple contact, exploration and communication as one physically touches and is emotionally touched by the built environment, one comes to belong to that place. This relationship to space and our body is foundational for understanding a migrant’s navigation through a new country.

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Literature Review

While the body is consumed by the sensory experiences which trigger cultural memories, the memories also contribute to the body (Van der Kolk). And while culture is intricately linked with the senses and embodied in our daily lives, traveling from place to place and pulling memories from those experiences could be part of what comprises identity. The memories intersecting with the culture you embody sparks changes in your identity: namely, who you are and where you belong. So part of adaptation and making unfamiliar places a home seems to be the result of embracing the fluidity of your identity and belonging. How we as humans form and sustain relationships, how we think and perceive, what it means to see and to feel; this is all part of the process of remaking human identity and manufacturing a new kind of culture along the way. This re-creating, re-making is a natural but very difficult process for many immigrants. Being transnational entails developing and empowering oneself to become an eclectic

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individual. However, being cosmopolitan in a binary society or when you go back to a country of your birth, it can be difficult to maintain that identity due to external pressures and expectations. The need or desire to belong is an epidemic that many struggle with, in addition to systemic issues. An opportunity exists to design for new forms of physical embodiment by promoting policies and interventions that support inclusion and diversity. Jessica Hawkinson places an importance on ‘belonging’ in Searching for a Place to Call Home: The Challenges Facing Europe ‘s Cosmopolitan Citizens, describing how the phenomena of the ‘place polygamy’ and ‘multilocality’ is related to identities that people maintain outside the realm of political, legal and territorial boundaries. This argument closely links to the fact that people’s lives should not be restricted by the country where they were born. The country of origin is not chosen, and choosing where to live should be a human right. As the current economy shifts to an ‘identity economy’ from a service economy, the

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Literature Review

prospect of using identities to select which city or country to live in is interesting. In order for this to happen, national borders should be more open and flexible.

Photo Source: Cover Page of the book The Immigrant Food Nexus.

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Gut Check: Migration, Fermentation and Health The process of immigration and assimilation of immigrants into American society intersects with many social and economic factors that determine health. It is evident that immigrants lack many resources in terms of housing, finance, food access, etc., which impacts their health. The research into the gut health of immigrants also seems to be part of the story of immigrant’s health. The reduced diversity of their gut microbiome due to diet or lifestyle changes parallel to the assimilationist approaches that leave immigrants vulnerable to losing their cultural heritage and identity. More inclusive access to the diversity of food would increase the diversity of the microbiome and lead to healthier lifestyles. When the community is more inclusive, people are allowed to embrace their own eclectic identity, and aren’t forced to assimilate to the dominant society. Heide Castaùeda, associate professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida, points out how analyses and interventions of immigrant health have focused on individual behaviors and purported 32


Literature Review

cultural beliefs rather than on glaring patterns of inequality and pathogenic conditions produced by structures of poverty, immigration policy, and heavy-handed enforcement tactics� (Castaùeda, 2015). Family separation by the white nationalist policies shows how current American immigration policies are still viewing immigration separate from social dimensions by focusing on individuals. US immigration has a long history of family separation. There are now about eight 33


million children in the world living in institutional care (Ellison, 2020). Even for the families who are together, survivalism is at the core of their life. As the parents are so focused on survival, children are left alone, which leaves them vulnerable to trauma and anxiety while they miss the opportunity to establish their ethnic and cultural identity. The changing dynamics of families, separation of families and increasing gaps in cultural values and identities are part of the interlinked stress factors that impact their health. The discussion on identities and families has a symbiotic relationship, as migration is often motivated by families. Family-centered integration policies that support social determinants of health are crucial. Long-term social consequences of migration should be taken into account, and specific policies should be developed. In this process, policies that empower inclusion and promotion of cultural heritage may be an opportunity space.

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Literature Review

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Context Fermentation as a Narrative for Designing Inclusive Futures 38

Designing Sensuous Experiences 50

Navigating Migration 64


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Process

Photo Source: theconversation.com

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Fermentation can serve as a narrative for preserving our identities and forming a collaborative community of collective care. 40


Context

Fermentation as a Narrative for Designing Inclusive Futures Human migration is the movement of people from one place to another with the intention of settling a new location permanently or temporarily. Early migration would not have been possible without the techniques of fermentation to preserve and store food as people move. Fermentation is an intuitive and important point of interrogation in understanding the clashes of culture within people from different backgrounds and places, and as a means for preservation and survival. Fermentation in science refers to the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts or other microorganisms. Humans have used fermentation to produce beverages and food. Every culture has fermented food; kimchi, cheese, wine, pickle, beer, yogurt, prosciutto, etc. While these fermented foods have distinct cultures of making, smell and taste, they serve as a lens to look at food culture as an opportunity for integration of new immigrants.

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Figure A

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Context

Fermentation can be a narrative to share our food cultures not only as a means of survival, but also as a facilitator for preserving our identities and forming a collaborative community of collective care. Proposing fermentation as a new framework to think about identities and integration in our society, we can move away from the concept of melting pot that forces immigrants to melt their culture of origin or identities. The salad bowl metaphor appreciates distinct taste of each ingredients as in our identities. Finally I use fermentation in my design work to serve as a sensorial metaphor. The slow process of reflection on identities that continue to evolve by influences of the old and new can only be fermented well in a space for collective healing.

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New SCOBY growth

Bubbles showing active fermentation

Old SCOBY

Layer of spent yeast

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Context

Figure B

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As an artist, writer and curator, Lauren Fournier uses fermentation as a generative frame for approaching feminism. Some of the ten principles that she suggests include ‘Preservation & Transformation’ and ‘Care,’ which resonate with the notion of fermentation as a narrative to approach immigrant health and foster inclusive culture. Artist Tiffany Jaeyoen Shin, through her work Microbial Speculation of Our Gut Feelings, uses the gut’s microbes as a way of looking deeply into immigrant health and resisting processes of colonization. Shin would home-brew lactic acid and use it to facilitate plant growth and seed germination, a tradition used in a Korean natural farming called Jadam. The lactic acid bacteria is put into the soil and cultivated into complex, indigenous microbial communities. Shin considers these ferments as a vital material that suggests possibilities for common survival, inter-species symbiosis and care. With these emerging works of art that use fermentation as a driver, fermentation can be a narrative to share our food cultures not only

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Context

as a means of survival, but also as a facilitator for preserving our identities and forming a collaborative community of collective care. As both artists approach fermentation as an accessible medium to interrogate our society, the transformative action of microbes parallel with the microbes in the immigrant’s gut in connection with their mind that are often influenced by the immigrant’s experience of social anxiety, confusion and stress. As Figure A shows, moving away from the melting pot concept that has traditionally been used to assimilate people, I propose fermentation as a new visual framework to encourage integration. The melting pot narrative often requires and forces people to melt away the undesirable aspects of non-dominant groups and culture. The salad bowl metaphor respects individuals’ distinctive ingredients, or identities. Fermentation, finally, serves as a narrative that celebrates individuals’ distinct identities and the slow process of those identities evolving in a space that allows them to thrive appropriately. This safe

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space indicates the collective efforts to empathize and move away from colonial aspects of assimilation. The ethnic identity becomes salient as part of the acculturation process for the immigrant population. Just like the microorganisms in Kombucha (Figure B) that feed on sugar transform their microbes, a person feeds on cultural influences of old and new ways and becomes an authentic self rather than someone from a singular country or culture. As the fermentation jar creates a selective environment for the microbes to thrive, we need a safe community and system that allows people to establish ethnic and cultural identities. As fermentation expert and chef David Zilver said, “Food is culture, but fermentation is culture on a deeper level. And I love the idea that somehow, someway, these synonyms overlap—that ‘culture’ and ‘culture’ mean two different things to a biologist and an anthropologist, but in fermentation, they overlap completely.”

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Context

Fermenting inclusive culture means using fermentation as a lens to understand that 1) immigration policies need a more integrated and family-based approach than an assimilationist approach, and 2) preservation of culture and heritage is part of building resilience of self and hybrid identities, and of forming a connected intergenerational connection in the families. Current immigration policies focus on the individualistic and assimilationist approach. A migrant worker who gets a job in the host country must have a certain amount of income to be able to host and bring their families, which keep a lot of low-income families separated from each other.

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Designing Sensuous Experiences Analyzing and using senses as the central part of navigating migration is useful, as it is specific to the conditions and culture of the migrants. Investigating the historical and cultural dimensions of sensory experience reveals that our senses are specific to their historical conditions and subject to change. From Myers and Grosvenor’s analysis, cultural learning emerges as a phenomenon that “pertains to processes of meaning making and to the manner[s] in which individuals and groups use available resources for the purposes of establishing identity and social being� (Grosvenor 2012). Sensory experience mediates social relations in immediate and unspoken ways, indicating sameness and belonging when an experience is familiar and meaningful to all; it marks otherness and difference when it is new to some, and has diverse associations for others. Sensory experiences function as factors in the construction and embodiment of racial identities. When we associate certain cultures with certain senses - such as odors and sound - it creates stereotypes, differences and othering.

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Context

Connections between understandings of place in human geography, environmental psychology and neuroscience have been discussed in the field of sensory studies. Neuroscience has provided evidence that place constitutes a very specific, distinct dimension in neuronal processing. This inspired me to delve into using senses as a way to analyze peoples’ place-making practices, as the act of movement and change of places are at the heart of migration experience. Place is an important concept for other disciplines for which the senses are particularly relevant, including design theory and practice (Silberg, 2013). Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson, anthropologists known for their emphasis on the dislocation of a fixed role between culture and place, question how place can be defined if it is something that is not fixed or enclosed, and argue for a focus on social and political processes of placemaking as in embodied practices that shape identities. Doreen Massey suggests that “to travel between places is to move between collections of trajectories and to reinsert yourself in the ones to which you relate.” The study of the senses forms part of a methodology for understanding other people’s

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Photo Source: Forbes

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Context

A set of pink see-saws adorned along the stretch of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico is a great example. It evokes emotions of joy, excitement, and togetherness. Although the two places is divided by a huge wall, it connects people in meaningful ways. People can see others smiling at each other through the fence and hear them playing. This embodied experience allows people to understand each other through bodily experiences.

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Context

Artist Kate McLean created a map asking what home smelled like. These answers had nothing to do with good or bad scents, but rather with some kind of threshold that signaled a return to a familiar place. Displacement and being uprooted can mean losing the “sense of home” and can be traumatic. Smell has also been used as a way to “other” social groups.

Photo Source: Sensory Maps by Kate McLean

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experiences, values, identities and ways of life. It is used as a context for understanding people’s actions and in concerning the areas they lived in. In analyzing the migration experience of different cultures, sensory ethnography allows for exploring cultural narratives about the experience and sensoriality. For example, the Slow Food movement suggests a sensory awareness and sensitivity through the education of the senses that we might better appreciate our environments and create a better world. A multisensory approach should inform design. Although international migration divorces people from physical places, migrants remain connected to their home cultures through objects, systems and food. Moving to new places comes with unfamiliarity. Navigating a new place entails both legal and social stress factors, from crossing the borders to adapting to unfamiliar cultural spaces, which manifests in new identities and belonging.

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Context

Photo Source: NPR

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Food, like language, exists as a vehicle for expressing culture. It has the power of being both a biological necessity as well as a deeply symbolic cultural artifact, one that connects us to one another on several levels. How we eat and talk about food are key parts of our identities. Not only food is a good medium for translating the cultural experience through sensory categories - the smell, taste, how it looks, feels and sounds, food is a means of preserving cultural identity, connecting with people. People contribute to their local economy and community by cooking and selling food that is meaningful to them. La Cocina is an incubator kitchen in San Francisco that serves low-income entrepreneurs, focusing primarily on helping female immigrants star their own food businesses. Emma’s Torch (pictured on the right) and Hot Bread Kitchen also collaborates with refugees and immigrants to cook the dishes of their country and take it as an opportunity to make home and stay connected to their home.

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Context Photo Source: Emma’s Torch

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Photo Source: Hot Bread Kitchen

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Context

Photo Source: Tenement.org

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Robert Nadler positions the concept of multilocality by sketching out the different types of mobility and migration. Using Peter Weichhart’s observation of multilocality as the ‘bodily nature’ of the human being, which is always physically located in space, human beings have to satisfy physical as well as social, economic and cultural needs. As he differentiates forms of spatial mobility to the main criteria of time (everyday movement vs. unique move with permanent intention), Nadler states that multilocality means living at multiple homes, living one’s everyday life in geographically distant places simultaneously in one’s own perception (Nadler, 2009). Acknowledging this social reality of belonging to multiple cultures and places is a crucial step to navigating the complexity of migration experiences. Designing everyday infrastructure and services within multilocal life can address needs through the rituals of daily routines, which imbue the act of traveling with a feeling of home.

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Context

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Navigating Migration Political Climate The anti-immigration response of governments across Europe, the United States and Australia has sent clear signals to those in frontline countries that they can build walls and force back those seeking safe havens. Politicians have used the term “anchor babies” for youth born in the U.S. to an undocumented mother, implying these mothers were only after the social services available to their citizen children (Valdez, 2019). This opolitical tactic questions the very legitimacy of U.S.born children of undocumented parents and aims to justify ending birthright citizenship. More tragically, they sometimes internalize these dehumanizing frames and employ them on others. Some youth of undocumented status who have lived in this country for several years lack empathy for current-day migrants, for example Central Americans fleeing gang violence. Some of these youth repudiate and dehumanize migrants arriving in the so-called “caravan.” Perhaps youth attempt to reclaim their humanity by distancing themselves from others perceived as undesirable. 64


Context Photo Credit: Kim Kyung Hoon

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Photo Source: theconversation.com

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Mental health professionals must attend to the complexity of traumatic stress, social isolation and internalized oppression and shame that is all too common in migration experiences. How can we change this dehumanization and prevent the longstanding effects of delegitimizing the lives of vulnerable youth and their immigrant families? It starts with acknowledging that we are creating a crisis of connection, characterized by self-preservation, scapegoating and “othering,” void of a sense of responsibility and compassion for others. By asking how the loss of compassion that results from dehumanizing frames harms us and yet how we contribute to such frames, we create opportunities to rebuild a collective identity, emotional connection and advocacy. Second, we need to empower youth to become activists and “tell the truth” about their experiences so they can reclaim their identities and define and own what it means to belong. Finally, let us safeguard programs, such as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), that allow youth to work and study so they can live out their aspirations and in so doing, strengthen our communities and collective identity.

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Transnational Families and Circulation of Care Family is a major driver of migration. Transnational families live some or most of the time separated from each other across national borders. It is more and more common to see a member of the family moving to another country and leaving their family members in the country of origin. The main motivation behind the choice of moving to another country is to improve the living conditions for the whole family and to offer the children a better future. This is done at the price of separation from family members. Financial and material (including cash remittances or goods such as food, clothing, and paying household and other bills), practical (exchanging advice and assisting with tasks), emotional and moral aimed at improving psychological well-being, personal care (like feeding and bathing), and accommodation (providing shelter and security). This multidimensional definition of care enables distinctions between caring practices that can be exchanged across borders through the use of communication technologies (typically financial

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and emotional), proximate caring practices that occur during visits, and proxy caring practices, involving the coordination of support provided by others (Wilding, 2006; Baldassar, 2008; Kilkey and Merla, 2013). All these types of care can be exchanged in transnational settings but to varying degrees and subject to a variety of factors, including gender, ethnic, class, and power hierarchies as well as the cultural and structural histories of welfare regimes. Baldassar, Baldock, and Wilding (2007) clearly demonstrate that migration does not prevent the exchange of support within families. Indeed, as is evident in the case studies that open this chapter, both aging parents and their adult children are often engaged in intense and complex exchanges of care and support. Emotional support is the most commonly mentioned, perhaps because it is able to be provided.

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Photo Credit: John Clang

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Migration and integration policies that are designed with more focus on individuality need to reflect on the family dimension of migration. Many nonprofit organizations revolve around providing immigrants with legal, housing and workforce development, while various technology firms and law firms help them solve legal barriers to citizenship. My work responds to the challenges that migration brings, placing more focus on social perspectives to improve the relationships, family dynamics and health of migrants.

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Mental Health Having multiple group memberships in family, school and work helps people to maintain a sense of social identity continuity. Self-continuity refers to having a sense of connection between one’s past and present self and is found to be positively related to mental health and wellbeing (Smeekes). Cultural competency in the mental health care of migrants is crucial in addressing the stresses they encounter. With tensions between universal aspects of mental care driven by Western centric models, having culturally informed and culturally sensitive responses to mental health problems is essential. This includes the incorporation of traditional cultural practices into Western-oriented health and mental health services that can facilitate their integration and adaptation of immigrants of diverse backgrounds. Providing legal support has become more challenging, including new cost barriers, as well as a lack of mental health resources to conduct the assessments that are often required to support immigration cases. Opportunities for immigrants who have been in the United States for

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a long time to adjust their status or to naturalize have become more limited because of declines in fee waivers and other policy changes that discourage people to interact with social safety net. Immigrants who land at Tacoma’s detention center spend two months in isolation, on average. The impacts can last far longer. The unprecedented levels of fear and anxiety, with health impacts of stress and trauma, is worsened by the criminalization of migration and punishing them for obtaining public benefits. Immigration status is considered a social determinant of health which is also not funded sufficiently for mental health care.

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Approaches to Reducing Health Disparities • Ensuring access to affordable, culturally competent, and linguistically appropriate health services, including prevention, care, and treatment • Recognition of the key role of mental health on health outcomes • Suport to reduce barriers to care • Creating safe spaces in which the immigrant community can critically explore and discuss the effect of immigration on physical and mental health • Enhancing feelings of belonging and social support, particularly from family, friends, caseworkers, and health care providers • Community health promotion • Providing opportunities for social action, including volunteerism and activism

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Immigrants who live near people from their own culture have lower rates of psychosis. Known as the “ethnic density effect”, this suggests that maintaining ties to your original culture protects against psychotic symptoms. Possessing multiple social identities has been associated with lower depression and greater resilience in the face of challenges. This implies that identifying with both your original culture and host culture after immigration – through integration – will reap the most mental health benefits (McIntyre & Bentall, 2020). If we want to reduce the mental health burden affecting immigrants, governments and citizens need to collectively create a space to make all people feel welcomed and included.

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Photo Source: The Well

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Process Subject Matter Experts + Users 84

Competitors Landscape 86

Design Thinking Design Thinking

Design Research Design Research


In an era when people, capital, technologies and ideas flow around the globe, the notion of having multiple homelands is becoming a social reality. Migration problematizes locality and physically divorces people from places. How can design construct and narrate a new relationship between people and multiple locations? How can it thus serve as an ideal site to interrogate how design can help immigrants relate to both their place of origin and their place of residence?Long-distance family relationships and family separation are rampant in migration. This is a huge source of mental health issues such as depression, trauma and anxiety. How can design construct and narrate the fluidity of dynamic relationships between family and friends who stay connected from different places? My intention with this project was to go beyond the political realm of the system. The nature of the immigration and refugee crisis are very negative and inherently political. I intentionally chose to look at immigration through the lens of everyday life, focusing on aspects

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such as family, food and fermentation, which impact health; I did this with the goal of helping people empathize with the social and economic challenges faced not just by immigrants, but by everyone. This allowed me to investigate the topic from many different angles, from the basics of eating, to physical and mental health, and from inclusive and exclusive systemic factors, to how food, rituals, culture, identity are key to the migration experience and how they can impact migrant health.

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Subject Matter Experts + Users

DR. PAJAU VANGAY

DR. MEHA SEMWAL

LIZETTE ARIAS

YESSENIA ARIAS

RESEARCH SCIENTIST

M.D./MPH

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR

CA COUNCIL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

COLORADO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

DREAM PROJECT

NORTHERN VIRGINIA FAMILY SERVICE

SEAN BRENNAN

HEE KYUNG BAEK

ERIC COLY

JENNIFER SO

FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT

FOUNDER

IMMIGRANT SERVICES SUPPORT

BRAIN FOOD GARDEN PROJECT

CENTRE FOR URBAN MENTAL HEALTH UVA

AYANA THERAPY

NEW YORK IMMIGRATION COALITION

ELIZABETH YORKE

NATACHA GOMEZ

YONSOO KANG

KELSEY MINTEN

CHEF/RESEARCHER

CHEF

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM COORDINATOR

FOOD FORWARD INDIA

WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN

EDIBLE ISSUES

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HOT BREAD KITCHEN


Process

DANIELLE LEHMAN

GUSTAVO MINAYA

JOWANDA JONES

VIRGINIA LEE

PODCAST HOST

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS COUNSELOR

IMMIGRATION LAWYER

SENIOR HR ASSOCIATE

OPEN BELLY

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

EIG LAW FIRM

MICROSTRATEGY

SEONG EUN CHUN

FRANCES ANSA

GRACE KWON

NOLA LIU

SENIOR MANAGER OF HEALTH POLICY

GHANANIAN AMERICAN

KOREAN AMERICAN

CHINESE AMERICAN

NEW YORK IMMIGRATION COALITION

PHARMACIST

DESIGNER

PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSIONAL

JUN PARK

LINYEE YUAN

JILLY TRAGANOU

DATA MANAGER

EDITOR

WORLD RELIEF

MOLD MAGAZINE

PROFESSOR OF ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN

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Competitors Landscape

There are many non profits and organizations that focus on advocacy and community development helping immigrants with legal and economic resources. My thesis approaches social and behavioral issues that immigrants face, espcially by focusing on family dimensions in mind - acknolwedging that families and family dynamics are driver of migration and influencing individuals conintuously.

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Design Thinking: Humanism and Speculative Methods My hypothesis is that if I can use design to create a safe space for migrants to create a home - to feel comfortable and have the freedom to be where they are and who they are - then it is possible to create a suite of offerings that support migrants to navigate transnational lifestyle, empowering themselves against racialized and ethnicized global hierarchies of power. Speculative methods that are driven from literature around immigration and travel, sensory studies, identity politics, in concert with probing questions and the facilitation of conversations, serve as an activism by prompting more creative solutions. While there are many resources and digital technologies available to address economic and legal needs such as citizenship status, remittances and working visas, there are not many resources that address social needs and health disparity. How can designers leverage the multi-local, multi-sensory technologies - both traditional and innovative - that immigrants use to construct new “social health� opportunities? 88


Process

The design process of this thesis started with speculation for multilocality as a new social reality as more immigrants are living in between multiple cultures and countries. In dissecting the multilocal nature of the diasporas, co design and design sensing are at the core of the work to bring empathy as embodied capacity to make us see this immigration issue differently. Everyday processes like mapping, process of coming together and redesigning new identities can be used to provide diverse narratives to co-existing both geographically and collectively with others.

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Design Research: Sensory Ethnography Place and space, and the connections between understandings of place in human geography, environmental psychology and neuroscience have been disucssed in the field of sensory studies. Neuroscience has provided evidence that place constitues a very specific, distinct dimension in neuronal processing. This inspired me to delve into using senses as a way to analyze peoples’ placemaking practices, as the act of movement and change of places are at the heart of migration experience. Place is an important concept for other disciplines for which the senses are particularly relevant, including design theory and practice (Silberg, 2013). Sensory experiences can be used to explore the relationship between ‘thinking, feeling, moving body’. It acknowledges interconnectedness of the senses and the importance of research that goes beyond watching, listening and writing. Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson, anthropologists, known for its emphasis on dislocation of a fixed role between culture and place questions how place can be defined if it is something that is not fixed

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or enclosed. They aregue for a focus on social and political processes of place making as in ‘embodied’ practices that shape identities. Doreen Massey suggests that “to travel between places is to move between collections of trajectories and to reinsert yourself in the ones to which you relate.” The study of the senses forms part of a methodology for understadning other peopel’s experiences, values, identities and ways of life. It is used as a context for understanding people’s actions and in concerning the areas they lived in. In analyzing the migration experience of dffierent cultures, sensory ethnography allows for exploring cultural narratives about the experience and sensoriality. For example, the Slow Food movment suggests that a sensory awareness and a sensitivity, through the education of the senses, we might better appreciate our environments and create a better world. A multisensory approach should inform design. Sensory ethnography can be useful to highlight personal connections people have with place and open up exploratory lines of inquiry. It requires rapport, responsiveness, reflexive and intimate engagement with people and place.

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Sensory Experience of living in New York City

Smell of the

Korean Super market aisles

Nuts4Nuts Cart

Korean restaurants that look like Pocha (street pub)

Sensory Experience

Blanket my mom sent me from home Hugs and furry pets

Hearing little Korean kids talking in Korean

Lunch box menu delivered

Sirens and loud

from a Korean Restaurant

neighbors

Street Kebobs

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Process

A participatory design process in which we focus on how people can pay attention to their own body, to proxemics and to embodied constraints of the environment.

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Who, What, Wow Defining Users and Pain Points The word “migrant� is an umbrella term for a person who moves away from his or her place of usual residence, whether within a country or across international borders. The move could be temporary or permanent, and for a variety of reasons, such as to escape conflict, persecution, terrorism or the adverse effects of climate change and environmental disasters/calamities. Every migrant is different, and their experiences vary greatly based on a number of factors: 1) the person’s legal status; 2) whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary; 3) the cause for the movement; and 4) the length of stay. The migrants who are forced to move are oftentimes the most vulnerable. They often do not have many choices in regard to employment, access to care and assistance to obtain citizenship, and additionally face barriers of language, race and culture. Design opportunities and goals would vary along these lines and should also be culturally contextual to address the pain points.

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Process

My interrogation and design offerings address the common threads of displacement that all of these types of migrants are exposed to: fluctuating identity and the in-betweenness of cultural shifts, the separation of families and long distance family relationships, displaced community and belonging, and health disparities, in which 95


all threads of displacement comes from different social milieus, race and culture. Using these common threads as a source of empathy and connection, my work advocates that the problems of the marginalized immigrant community are not solely their problem. Although the specific users of my design offerings vary from projects to projects, they serve to inform each other with the goal of creating a system and space for collective care.

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Partnerships and Co-creation Design sensing is a process of feeling ourselves. If we cannot feel ourselves, we cannot feel others. Our empathy is an embodied capacity that makes us see the world differently. Jilly Traganou, an architect and a professor uses everyday processes like collective mapping as modes of engagement as solidarity. As an embodied aspect, sensorial knowledge - discourse on care, self-preservation serves as a method to generate narratives around the expression of identities and sense of belonging. Co-creation workshops served as tools to understand how people currently make home in a new community or how they could reimagine for a better community. The qualitative data gathered from the cocreation workshops served as another jumping point to converse with subject matter experts and users to contribute their own perspectives and test the design throughout the process.

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Process

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Design Opportunities Interviewing various stakeholders like first generation immigrants, children of immigrants, undocumented immigrants and many others who work with the immigrant communities from various backgrounds in business, law, work and food industry, it required mapping out the migration as a journey and identifying moments for design interventions. This also necessitated acknowledging that the experience varies for many different types of immigrants whether they are refugees, undocumented or expats who might have more choices in their physical, economical and social mobility. During this mapping process, my designs were informed by the common threads of experience - displacement and uprootedness, and relationships and family and evolving identity. This guided my designs forward to creating systems for nurturing collective care in the health of individual immigrants and also the families who are affected by the migration. This scale of interventions became clear with the research findings that many migration policies are

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focused on individual migrants rather than family dimensions and the target audience and users for different projects followed this scale of individual and family and how people make home in a new country and also stay connected to their home country. Design opportunities lie in the space of immigrant health and transnational lifestyle. At the intersection of mental, physical and cultural health, immigrant health must be viewed more holistically with cultural sensitivity. A design consultant/team could build a partnership with local advocacy groups, companies and the healthcare industry to initiate a transdisciplinary co-creation experience through which migration can become a healthier and more inclusive experience. Using the How Might We methodology, we could teach participants to ask questions around a series of themes, including relationship and family dynamics, inclusive migration policies and mental healthcare disparity.

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Projects Dinner Therapy 108

Where are you local? 118

Gut Talk 140

Ongi 158

DinDin 168

We Are What We Eat 190


We need alternative supportive structures to build resiliency in a new community without fear. In addition to mental health care being difficult to access for many immigrants, cross cultural factors are very confounding factors in mental health research. This brought me to question how to create a more standard vocabulary for patients and to be used for research. Finding a common ground of the societal issue and creating a space for collective action as a whole was essential for this project. As a navigator to facilitate conversation between people of opposing views the opportunity came about to link food to global/local sustainable development as a collective action; locally rooted while also globally connected through trans local networks.

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“Representation of minorities and immigrants in mental health is a very powerful message.” Dr, Meha Semwal | M.D./MPH

“There is no economic barrier. The barrier is fear.” Yessenia Arias |Mental Health Counselor, Multicultural Center NVSF

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American food’s continuous evolving identity is just like the American people’s identity. Food as tool to communicate and have comfort What are the flavors of American food? Culinary history isn’t about food, but people. American food’s continuous evolving identity is just like the American people’s identity. Connecting with the history and grandparents of yours from the past who had gone through the same moments that the refugees are going through today. Empathy starts at home, on the dinner table. How can dinner table utilize technology and education to build empathy?

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Process

Cultural Health

Mental Heatlh

Identity + Belonging

Food as a cultural artifact, ritual, and tools for healing and connecting.

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Dinner Therapy SERVICE DESIGN

Dinner therapy is a service that helps immigrants meet mentors or therapists who identify with their cultural and ethnic backgrounds. For immigrants, the barriers to mental health care are fear of interacting with the government and health care facilities, stigma around mental health and lack of cultural competency in care. As the current climate around immigration has deeply created tension, immigrants need to know who their advocates are.

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Dinner Therapy | Service Design

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Dinner Therapy addresses the mental health issue through multi sensory experience. It provides a space for them to reflect on their migration journey and how their identities and sense of belonging evolved through sensory mapping exercises. In no way this is replacing the professional therapy and counseling services. Instead, this service serves as a gateway to formal mental health care. The immigrants who might be afraid to interact with health care institutions or do not understand the need of care would benefit by vocabularizing their feelings and reflections through daily rituals as easy as just getting a meal with someone. The target customers are immigrants who are looking to connect with people of similar background and get help. But she is afraid of connecting with the government or care providers.

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Dinner Therapy | Service Design

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Dinner Therapy | Service Design

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Dinner Therapy | Service Design

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Service Blueprint

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Dinner Therapy | Service Design

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Where are you local? CO-CREATION WORKSHOP

What attributes and tastes does your culture share with others? What it means to really, truly share in a world that is increasingly defined by borders? ‘Where are you local?’ is a co-creation workshop with a space to reflect our migration journey, who we are and how we make sense of our hybrid identity.

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Dinner Therapy | Service Design

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Co-Creation Workshop Co-creation is a form of design research that allows users to help come up with solutions and discover issues they may face that would otherwise not come up in interviews, surveys or observation. On November 17th, 2019 a co-creation session was held in New York City. The event, titled “Where are you local?” was a two hour workshop, inviting people with various types of migration experience. The workshop consisted of exercises that allowed them to reflect on their migration journey, identity and belonging and the idea of home. Where are you local? is an exploration of migrants’ experience, personal and cultural identity through senses. ‘Where are you local?’ is a phrase introduced by Taiye Selasi as she explores our relationship to our multiple identities, offering an alternative vision of African identity for a transnational generation. Crafting and preserving the migrants’ stories through the lens of senses beyond vision as a tool to communicate, navigate what it means to be a migrant and address fear, social isolation, in-betweenness and other issues that people experience from being identified with more than one culture or border.

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

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Framing Through co-creation, I wanted to learn about:

• Are there any routines or rituals you stopped doing over the course of migration? • How people talk about their identity through senses. How do people define their comfort food, comfort space? etc • What do you do to feel comfort? Do you cook something? Do you have an object you hold on to? Is there anything that smells like home? What do you do feel comfort when you can’t this?

Identity (self)

Icebreaker/ Conversations

Mapping

• Where in the city do you feel a sense of home?

Reimagine

• What attributes and tastes does your culture share with others?What it means to really, truly share in a world that is increasingly defined by borders.

Cultural Sensitivity (interaction with others)

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

Icebreaker/Conversation

Participants will pick out a card with questions that prompts you to answer. The questions will be related to your culture, identity and being a migrant. It will be in a conversation format that allows people to ask and respond to each other.

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

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1. Mapping Migration Journey Mapping how they or their parents got to where they are and where in these moments they felt like their identities were changing or challenged.

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

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2. Where do you feel at home? Translating home through senses. Where in the city do you feel at home? Have you found a place in New York City where you feel a sense of home? Or where do you not feel at home? Map out the places on the map with each of five sense stickers. Stick the corresponding sense sticker on the card with the location and why it reminds you of home.

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

Sensory experiences function as factors in the construction and embodiment of racial identities. When we associate certain culture with certain senses - such as odors and sound, etc - it creates stereotypes, differences, and othering.

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

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3. Reimagine The group separated into a pair and shared each other’s moments of migration journey and picked one experience that could be redesigned to be more inclusive; whether it be a workplace, school, or other communities of their choices.

How might we...? The group separated a workplace, school, or into a pair and shared other communities of each other’s moments their choices. of migration journey and picked one experience that could be redesigned to be more inclusive; whether it be 132


Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

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“Instead of connecting one’s identity to a location, we could look at them as traits and characteristics that makes us who we are and makes us unique.” An Iranian American participant

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

Key Learnings Sensory mapping seemed to work well in order to get people to think about where they live and where they are from, and how they can use it as a tool to find comfort in new cities. Many described it as a catharic experience. How can communities facilitate vulnerable conversation better? Is this a community’s role? Is this better as a self reflection tool with more autonomy? These workshops could benefit from partnerships with immigrant community organizations and mental health therapists who could help facilitate the conversations amongst people who have similar cultures or experiences. The circumstances of diverse migratory journeys also shaped how participants felt – who and what they left behind, how much they could communicate in English, how much they were in control of their lives in terms of gendered relationships.

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There’s a parallel between personal and cultural identity of a migrant; preservation of one’s roots and culture are part of preserving her own personal identity. It is like creating her own recipe.

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

“The body regenerates and replenishes itself based on what we eat and how we eat.” Elizabeth Yorke Chef and writer of “Eating with Hands” - MOLD Magazine

Physical Health

Cultural Health

Gut - Mind Connection

Mental Heatlh

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Gut Talk EXPERIENCE DESIGN

Gut Talk is a public exhibition that is driven by stories of our gut microbes. The imagined space provides a room for reflecting and fermenting on migrants’ microbial identities. The design was driven by the idea of embodying the exploration of how our culture, relationships, transnational experience of moving from one country to another influence our self perceptions and changing identities. It’s a space for any type of migrant to come and find a sense of self through fermentation as an inclusive framework and celebrate diversity in our society.

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

Using fermentation as a framework to think about how migration affects our identities and sense of belonging, this experience design aims to: 1) Pose a set of questions for people to reflect on their migration journey and their identities 2) Collectively think about what the inclusive society looks in different contexts - workplace, school, public space, etc.

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1. What’s in your gut? Pick the old ingredients from your place of origin. Starting with the reflective stage of ‘what’s in your gut’ - as they answer to questions like: where they come from, why… which becomes part of the ingredients. Your mom would ask have you eaten this, have you done that? Check with yourself how you are doing today. What is something you have lost? What is something you gained from living away from home. How has your relationship has changed?

The Gut Talk is a public exhibition that embodies exploration of how our cultural heritage, languages, beliefs, relationships, and transnational experiences influence our self-perceptions and changing identities. The Gut Talk creates a space to help people find a sense of self and where they belong in the world and society, using fermentation as an inclusive framework to transform themselves and celebrate diversity in our society. 144


Gut Talk | Experience Design

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2. Fermenting Pick the new ingredients that reminds you of home or that help you feel comfort.

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Where are you local? | Co-creation Workshop

As the participant steps into the ‘Fermentation’ section, she will be asked to map how she feels at home in NYC or not. Using the five different type of senses, she writes stories of how she made this place a new home. She will be able to see other people’s stories as well.

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3. Collective Care Add one last ingredient to your recipe that will help foster an inclusive community. Lastly, a collective care space where they add one last ingredient to reimagine what their jars could be like to promote a more inclusive community for them to thrive - whether it be a workplace, school, or other communities. These recipe can be shared online and can be shared with other as another way to stay connected with people and places we have left behind or to further connections with the people around you now.

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Gut Talk | Experience Design

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Design Process

The goal of this exhibition is to celebrate and embrace multilocality and hybrid identity of international migrants and encourage safe space to be who they are. A lot of the activities of this experience design are derivatives of the previous co-creation workshop ‘Where are you local?’ By opening it up to the public and making it more accessible to many others, it has the potential to shift traditional approaches and generate new ideas. While introducing fermentation as a new approach, framing the integration process through recipes that are familiar to one’s unique culture was an important piece in the design process. With each different culture, one has something to offer and also to learn about others’ building empathy during the integration. This necessitated another element of collaboration - working with a fermentation expert who can help develop some recipes that blend ingredients from different origins to form new pickles, drinks or other fermented products. This way, one can have conceptual, “identity fermentation” 150


Gut Talk | Experience Design

as well as actual, integrated products that can be taken away and their recipes shared. Moreover, to ensure it’s access and inclusiveness, the different languages should be available to make the project work for people at different stages of moving to a new place.

Collaborations Further collaborations include museums that focus on certain communities and create programming based on this proposal for their communities (such as the Museum of Chinese in America, El Museo del Barrio, Museum of Jewish Heritage). The project can also be adapted to cater to different age groups and for second generation, children of immigrants who were born in a new country but whose identity pulls from different backgrounds.

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To continue to think about how home affects us on all levels and how we can work to actively change our make up as a way of feeling connected to place, the project also encourages sharing these stories with a wider audience. At the end of the exhibition, one can share these recipe books online through social media. This offers another way to stay connected with people and places we have left behind or to further connections with the people around you now.

Branding The trillions of microbes living on and in our bodies are changing both the way we think about health and disease and even how we define Self. The name ‘Gut Talk’ was inspired by the notion of Gutmind connection (Gut Brain axis). The exhibition urges for having a talk with your gut and reflecting on what it means to have a gut that has evolved both physically and metaphorically.

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Gut Talk | Experience Design

The visual language implied the evolving, hybrid nature of migrants with gradients and amorphous shapes that resemble the gut in our body. Fermenting being at the center of the metaphor and language, the bubbling and slow process of fermentation represents how one would slowly ‘ferment’ their identities to become the new self. Another element is the ‘Connection’ to a place and people that greatly influences themselves and their identities.

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Potential partnerships

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Gut Talk | Experience Design

include markets, museums, restaurants and fermentation experts who can c0-develop recipes that blend ingredients from different origins to form new fermented products.

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Prototypes

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Gut Talk | Experience Design

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Ongi PRODUCT DESIGN

There is a Korean word called Sonmat which refers to hand taste of a cook. The cook’s touch on the food complements the taste of the food. This taste of the hand - does it actually make the food taste good? Does the microbiome on her hand get passed on to the food? The traditional fermentation crock Onggi pot that is used to make Kimchi. The word literally means “breathing clay”, and because of the way these containers allow air to move through them, it already contains the microbiome of the hand and kimchi.

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Gut Talk | Experience Design

What if we could also gain comfort by preserving the microbiome of family members when you are abroad?

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Speculation and Futuring

Near Future

Year 2100

Year 2020 (Present)

Ongi

(The Gut Observer)

The design process of this project started with futuring exercises of multilocality and migration. Writing both utopian and dystopian speculative fictions (pg. 162), I created two alternate realities of the year 2100. The newspaper on the right shows how the world may look like in the future with dystopian perspectives. Then I designed Ongi that will be used in the near future from now with the Year 2100 in mind.

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Dystopian Fiction: Foragers With the rise of globalization, people have moved from country to country but people seeking safety and freedom from violence and far are kept locked up in squalid, chaotic camps. Increased number of climate refugees outnumbered the millions of economic migrants back in 2020. Children seeking asylum from disasters are still being yanked away from their parents and lost in a system designed as a spectacle of cruelty. Some kids managed to seek asylum but they have been left out in a new country without knowing where their parents are and reuniting with their family has become wistful hopes for a lot of them. As the US government harvested DNA from undocumented immigrants for storage in a database, about 20 millions of undocumented immigrants are deported and families remain seprated. The racist immigration policies have created strict regulations where people from underdeveloped countries without education or money and people of color have been highly discriminated against. The DNA

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collection was designed to catalog ethnic groups, as opposed to serving a criminal or law enforcement purpose.

Children who were detained since 2018 have been traumatized

by the separation which led them both mentally and physically exhausted and malnutritioned. The system for holding migrant children remained opaque, and has been difficult to keep track of the children in custody and find out where their parents are. In 2080, food has become very scarce and people are used to eating supplements like Soylent and mood stabilizers, and Microlent has risen in popularity to feed the ten billions of populations. The generational shift from a production economy to a service and identity economy became even more prominent. Feeding ourselves with microbiomes collected from our personal experiences, memories, and culture, people have to collect microbiomes based on these experiences that make up their identity. The microbiome foraging kit was designed for the preservation of the microbiome in this process

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Being away from home is hard‌

When is... the last time you hugged your dad? the last time you held your mother’s hand? the last time you had your mom’s homemade dish?

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And not microbiome friendly.

Dr. Pajau Vangay’s research shows that the gut microbiome loses diversity with immigration which can lead to mental health and obesity. Microbiomes that are specific to our gut, where we come from, our lifestyle and how we eat, are also changing and assimilating to those similar to the host country.

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Does your mother’s hand taste taste like home? Can I bring this with me when I am far away from her?

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Every culture has a Culture of Fermentation Kimchi, saurkraut, cheese, pickles, wine and etc. All these recipes belong to humanity, passed from generation to generation in the infinite collective wisdom of health, culture, microbial transformation and the preservation of food. Essential to the survival of human migration and also to human health, I used fermentation as the driver of this project. Fermentation and its tactility and social aspect that comes from cooking were pivotal to the design process of Ongi. With the research that shows physical and social interactions with others help shape the diverse microbial communities, the primitive action of touching and holding on to the microbiome is at the center of the user experience of Ongi. Using Kombucha as a fermentation recipe, I experiemented with the perservation of microbiome through the SCOBY, which stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast�. It is an ingredient used in the fermentation and production of kombucha. The psychobiotic tea is a speculation that the tea is fermented out of kombucha Scoby by a symbiosis of hand yeast and genetically modified bacteria that expresses a gene which increases Serotonic production and comfort. 167


The Product Ongi is a set of fermentation crock and tea that encourages fermentation as daily ritual. The teabag is fermented out of kombucha Scoby by a symbiosis of hand yeast and genetically modified bacteria that expresses a gene which increases Serotonic production. As migrants who are away from their family are physically separated and their gut microbiome diversity also gets reduced, they become vulnerable to chronic illness. Their native microbes change to assimilate into the new microbes similar to the host community. Every culture has different


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types of fermented foods and have unique traditions. Fermentation rituals and recipes get passed down to people’s offsprings. What if we could also gain comfort by preserving the microbiome of the family members when you are abroad and away from them? Ongi, which means warmth in Korean, is a fermentation kit for brewing Kombucha that encourages fermentation as a ritual. The kit includes a fermentation crock and Identitea tea bags made out of dehydrated Scoby. The Scoby used to brew Kombucha is a symbiosis of hand yeast of a family member and genetically modified bacteria that expresses a gene which increases serotonin production. The tea bag can be used to reactivate the scoby and brew more Kombucha or soaks it into your tea bath routines.

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How It Works The mother back home would receive the kit from the lab, in which she will swab the microbiome in her hand when she cooks. The lab will send you the psychobiotic tea that is created with your mother’s hand taste. Brew the tea to drink or take a tea bath. Add water, vinegar and sugar to activate the dehydrated Scoby. Let it ferment while holding the crock.

Creating teabags out of dried SCOBY

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Microbiome kit

Ongi Tea

Sampling the Microbiome from the hand

Brewing Kombucha with Ongi 171


DinDin SERVICE DESIGN

DinDin is a service that allows you to stay connected with your family. Especially those who are away from each other. DinDin helps families hold each other accountable for their personal health through facilitated activities. The facilitated activities such as puzzle, yoga, journals, book club are recommended by the service based on the families’ goals and demographics. They give voices to the children and elderly parents who play huge roles in transnational families but have not been given a lot of attention.

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“Family is a major driver of migration.�

Context Family is a major driver of migration. Through migration, families improve their income, access to education and health, and are generally able to provide better prospects for their children. However, many families remain separated. Current US immigration policies are more focused on individual migrants and severely limits family-based immigration. The reality of contemporary migration is such that those who stay behind are often negatively impacted by the absence of the member(s) of the family who have migrated. Parent-child relationships are particularly affected. 174


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From the film Farewell. The movie showcases the immigrant family and the cultural clash of western and Asian cultures.

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Immigrants are busy and focused on survivalism. Gaps between their families grow apart. People are also busy with their own lives in their new lives which make it hard to keep track of each other. For many migrants, the family’s health remains an uneasy concern as well. DinDin keeps them connected by helping them check in on each other and making sure they are doing well both physically and mentally. Family relationships and dynamics evolve throughout migration and time. Adult immigrants are often placed in situations where they have to take care of their elderly or ill parents who might be at home. DinDin is a service that allows you to stay connected with your family. Especially those who are away from each other. DinDin helps families hold each other accountable for their personal health through facilitated activities. The facilitated activities such as puzzle, yoga, journals, book club are recommended by the service based on the families’ goals and demographics. They give voices to the children and elderly parents who play huge roles in transnational families but have not been given a lot of attention.

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As my thesis narrowed down into family relationships in immigrant communities, many issues within this area that revolved around immigrants’ identity, cultural heritage, and mental health which also in turn, touched on families. While many people choose to immigrate for better opportunities for their family, immigration systems are more focused on individuals than families and its history has separated families for a very long time. It is inevitable to look into family relationships and dynamics as not only a way to reflect on an individual immigrant’s well-being but also look at the systematic infrastructure of how we think about and cater to families in the society. I wanted to create a service that allows families who grew apart physically but also in their perspectives and culture. This may often lead to conflicts or misunderstandings, and stress from uncertainty. That prevents the families from having a more emotional connectedness. They never know until something is seriously misaligned as a family. This led me to designing with the goal of creating a space for them to re-connect through facilitated conversation or ‘check-in’s.

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Reframing the Problem This project began with a problem that is common for many first generation immigrants. Those immigrants, whose elderly parents are back home, often struggle with the fact that they left their parents behind and they feel shame and guilt from not being able to care for them. The distance itself is a huge barrier that makes it hard for them to take care of them with practical needs such as health care. Financial support through remittance and emotional support through digital communication technologies are more commonly practiced. In order to get to the core of solving the problem, I reframed the problem by assessing if I am solving the right problem. Reframing the problem entails repeatedly asking the ‘why’ of the problem. Instead of going directly from a problem space to a solution space, designers should keep asking why this is a problem multiple times. When you reframe a problem, you look at the problem in a different way. You don’t look for a solution. But instead you change your view. And when you change your view, the problem changes. And the problem changes, so do the solutions. This isn’t necessarily a linear process. Often you can reframe a single problem in multiple ways. 178


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My problem reframing came down to immigrant families’ gaps growing apart as their life moves on without them as they are simply busy trying to survive in the host country and for some, also taking care of their own children.

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DinDin Together Across Distance

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A virtual care package for long distance families.

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Meet Mia and Her Family Mia found a great work opportunity after studying in the U.S. leaving her mother alone in Seoul, Korea. She lives in Palisades Park, NJ with her husband and her son Minho.

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Her Problem

Mia is busy surviving her life abroad - working, adjusting to a new environment, caring for her own children and to also keep track of her mother’s health from afar.

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DinDin helps families hold each other accountable for their personal health through facilitated activities. DinDin will make an impact on improved health of the parents, feelings of connectedness and relief through intergenerational care by measuring:

Increased Communication

Autonomy and Well-being

Response Rate

Improved health of parents

Daily Engagement

Vocal Patterns

# of activities participated # of interactions between family members

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Checking in between them can be as easy as completing a puzzle of the family photo back and forth.

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It can be a book club with facilitated discussion questions.

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Or sharing a story together with a given prompt with different themes everyday.

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DinDin also keeps track of the family’s progress and response rate.

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One day, Minho notices that grandma Hyein hasn’t sent the puzzle back. He gently reminds her to add a piece. If Hyein doesn’t respond for more than a few days, DinDin notifies Mia to check in on her.

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Checking In This issue has been regarded as something that is nothing there to do but feeling helpless. When I approached this issue from a solution space standpoint, I created prototypes that were about monitoring aging parents from afar or helping them stay in communication with the healthcare stakeholders. These solutions may have helped people feel relieved for immigrants but parents also wanted to maintain some autonomy. What makes this experience more difficult is how families experience gaps growing apart emotionally. This may often lead to conflicts or misunderstandings, and stress from uncertainty. That prevents the families from having a more emotional connectedness. They never know until something is seriously misaligned as a family. This helped me identify design opportunities in creating a space for them to reconnect through facilitated conversation or ‘check-in’s so that they can step in whenever it’s needed without the feeling of surveillance.

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“Alexa, open DinDin. Send Good Morning! to Mia”

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“Voice Says A lot.� The most important questions when confronting senior users with new technology is: Are they willing to use it? This question often came up in user testing as well. One interviewee said that their parents really are satisfied with just connecting with their grandchildren. Researchers around the world are exploring how to detect vocal patterns that might indicate Parkinson’s or even heart disease. Think about the potential this field represents to help our elderly. Using voice assistants to detect the onset of degenerative neurological diseases would be fantastic. This spurred my design forward to give more voice to children and aging parents as contributors to care across the distance.

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Next Steps The aim of this project is not only help transnational families stay connected across continents and cultures but also increase the accessibility of transnational lifestyle and awareness for family separations. This service could be widely adapted through caregiving organizations, school, churches and immigrant community partners to further validate and develop increased intergenerational care.

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We Are What We Eat POLICY DESIGN

We Are What We Eat is a school lunch app and policy proposal to bring more diversity to our school lunch programs. By bringing the community together to plan the lunch offerings, the project aims to bring inclusive lunch time that will help build empathy amongst each students and heatlhy gut from an earlier age.

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The app crowdsources healthy school lunch menus that represents the students and the community and actively engages the parents to participate in sharing the recipes from their own country. Not only it provides healthy, inclusive lunch plan but also serves as an platform for educating diversity and inclusion to our future generations.

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Not only food is a good medium for translating the cultural experience through sensory categories - the smell, taste, how it looks, feels and sounds, it is a powerful facilitator for connection.

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Policy Problem Statement The world is on the move as never before. Migrants, defined as people living outside their country of birth whether for work, to follow a family member, study or escape adversity, numbered more than 250 million in 2017 (Shilling 2019). Most immigrants are caught in the web of competing national and ethnic identities. The tension of ‘being in-between’ cultures and hyphenated identity is often overlooked in broader conversations for the community of people who are vulnerable to intergenerational conflicts, acculturation stress and racism. Furthermore, immigrants often face barriers with insurance and the fear of interacting with the government care programs due to the public charge rule that reduces the chance for gaining citizenship upon using the social services. I would like to look at this policy brief at a preventative angle that fosters a more inclusive and culturally competent society.

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Policy Memo In order to address the formation of hybrid identities and bicultural interventions intended to decrease stress factors of being immigrants or children of immigrants, potential policy solutions encompasses in areas of education, restaurants, workplaces, and health care settings that touch upon our daily lives. Policymakers and service providers are coming to understand that cultural diversity must be broadly defined to accommodate wide variations among consumers. In healthcare setting, cultural differences exist on many levels, including help-seeking behaviors, language and communication styles, symptom patterns and expressions, non-traditional healing practices and the role and desirability of medical intervention (ComasDiaz, L., and Griffith, E.E, 1988, Gaw, A.C. 1993).

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Potential Interventions Looking at the education sector as an opportunity to raise awareness around cultural competency in mental health and formation of hybrid identities, one policy solution include diversifying the work force of mental health professionals. By incentivizing people with immigrant background to become mental health professionals, developing a diverse and inclusive workforce that represents patients with multiethnic background would be bring more access and destigmatize the issues around mental health. This policy may require some time to scale up to a macro level and reach communities that are not as diverse and get the buy in of the conservative parts of the country.

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We Are What We Eat | Policy Design

Why It Matters - Social Determinants of Health It is important to consider immigration as a social determinant of health to examine the linkages between immigration and health. The research on immigrant health has been largely disconnected from the concept of the social determinants of health. According to Heide CastaĂąeda, associate professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida, The analysis and interventions of immigrant health have focused on individual behaviors and purported cultural beliefs rather than on patterns of inequality and pathogenic conditions produced by structures of poverty, immigration policy, and heavy-handed enforcement tactics (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018). Another evidence to this relationship between health and immigration is the research on immigrant’s microbiome. The research revealed that immigrants began losing their native microbes almost immediately after resettling. They picked up American microbes, but “not enough

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to compensate for the loss of native strains, so they end up losing a substantial amount of diversity overall. The most obvious culprit behind the loss of native gut microbe is diet (Yin, 2018). This evidence around the linkage between diet, migration and mental health drove my policy decision to look at food as part of an inclusive intervention that promotes health of immigrants.

School Lunch Policy There are progressive policies and initiatives to bring access to healthy food to vulnerable immigrant communities to address food insecurity, however, it does not seem like there are policies that try to bring more awareness around where the food comes from, the people behind food industry or how different types of cuisines are perceived. The potential policy could expand the school lunch to more diverse cuisines and provide opportunities for students to learn

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about what it means to be immigrant, children of immigrants and coexisting with others. This entails getting the community involved to share different types of cuisines, rituals and food as cultural artifacts. However, the school food change movement in the United States and beyond (Broad 2012) has instigated a kind of neoliberal conflict among children, parents, teachers, and school staff over issues to do with “freedom of choice,� as Riley (2018) illustrates in an elite New York City school. The evaluation criteria for this policy include how diverse the lunch offering is, health outcome of the children and possible cost savings on healthcare, participation rate of the immigrant parents, and efficient execution of education curriculum on food and diversity. Logistically, serving lunch items from different food cultures requires a lot of resources, including time, human efforts, purchasing channels, and funding. Currently, a lot of school districts do menu planning and the menu planner might not have time to take this on as part of the job.

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By finding local partners, parent groups, and local professionals, it is essential to involve them to identify and develop culturally appropriate recipes. Schools that successfully implement a diverse offering are led by professionals like Food Service Director, Nutrition Director, Farm to School Coordinator for public schools (Freedman). The New York State follows the the United States Department of Agriculture guideline for school lunch policy. The USDA at federal level, Food and Nutrition Service provides training and technical assistance to the state which selects the USDA foods. These selected foods guide the food that are served in public school districts. A lot of these menu items are based on the nutrition standards. Although there are no indications around culturally appropriate menu offering, NYC School has many food programs with opportunities to introduce the policy. Programs like Saturday and Holiday Meals, NY Thursdays that support locally grown food can serve as opportunity spaces to introduce and involve community members and local partners.

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Some immigrants may want to have nothing to do with their home country, assimilating into the dominant identities of the host society. The general assumption is guided by an implicit deficit model: to advance socially and economically in the United States, immigrants need to “become American” in order to overcome their deficits in the new language and culture. Mental health studies suggest that assimilation—in the various forms it can take—can itself be a traumatic process rather than a simple solution to the traumas of immigration (NAP 1996). Integration has been traditionally viewed as the job of the government. However, as much as the process of integration is touched by daily lives of immigrants, the policies need to be actionable at local and community level that involves not just immigrants but everyone that they interact with. Food is a perfect example that connects immigrants back to their roots and history with benefits of gut health that has to be taken more seriously at a policy level. Diverse school lunch program is a crucial policy that represents the immigrant community and promotes education for health, diversity and inclusion.

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Possible Courses of Actions Construct the possible courses of action available to solve the problem:

1. Create a more welcoming environment for refugees than treating them like criminals. 2. Establish educational curriculum on cultural competency and sensitivity. 3. Increase the access to mental health care and diversify the mental health work force who can represent the patients’ identities (Intense need for providers from immigrant communities). 4. Alternate care programs that address anxiety and stress in non clinical setting.

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Criteria On what basis will you make your decision? What indicators and factors matter? No matter what kind of decision we make, we always have a set of criteria that we use to determine a course of action.

1. Health Outcome 2. Community participation 3. Cost 4. Feasibility

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Closing Thoughts


Coming Back Home With the pandemic Covid-19 putting the whole world to stall, I came back a bit earlier than I thought. It was a strange departure so sudden without good-byes, without completed assignments and chaos of wrapping up quickly. I was excited to go home, but I was also leaving my home. Flights keep getting canceled left and right with uncertainty. This made me physically exhausted trying to move out of the apartment while trying to get the work done but also mentally quite taxing as I had to let a lot of things go that made me feel uprooted again. The severity of this process is not as intense, but the feeling is valid. When the outbreak started to spread rapidly in my home country, Korea, I was worried and was hoping this shall pass soon. I was worried about my family back home. I was also worried about the racism toward Asian Americans, which made me anxious whenever my family urges to wear masks but hear the violent incidents happening toward Asians wearing masks. With the lockdown in New York City, we are looking for companionship. These are all too familiar stories for many of us and we are craving one another’s touch more than ever.

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I am happy that this became an excuse for me to fly home earlier and spend more time with my family that I hardly see. This time, I get to spend no more than just three months I usually get. In the midst of all this chaos and strange time, I am privileged to be able to fly home and reunite with the family. I also was supposed to take my citizenship interview in March which got canceled. I came to the US with an American dream but what America was supposed to promise was more dangerous with separation of families and consequential anxiety and now threatens our health. Covid-19 further disclosed the broken American dream - bifurcated healthcare system, which is both the best in the world and the worst in the world, has proved that America was not prepared for a collective national response. This crisis revealed the result of underinvestment in civil service and underrating the value of long term planning in public health and other services. As I come back to my home country, which has recently been praised for its quick, transparent response to the pandemic, I wondered about what American dream meant for me.

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Living Back at Home Usually, it takes a week of sleeping long hours to get over the jet lag. This time, having school and maintaining the Eastern Time Zone in New York is extra challenging. Both time zones are getting blended and at some point I no longer understood time. I rely on the google calendar and stay awake around the time I have to be up. It almost feels like I am stuck in between this transitioning time afloat swimming in the pacific ocean - while my life is maintained in New York time, my body is in Korea. What would that look like when I start my life back in Korea? My mental state would be delegated and negotiated between the two spaces. This negotiation continues to happen when you come back to your own home. As I am thinking I won’t be going back to the States for quite some time, I finally created a new checking account in Korea. I feel like a child or even a foreigner starting all over again in a new country. Not everything is new but this fast-changing country makes me always

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feel quite behind. I often feel stuck at the age of 15 which is when I left or even... feeling smacked in the head at the face of reality. However, I am excited to be home and feel more comfortable with this uncertainty. Although I have had lots of regrets, tears, and unexpected circumstances throughout this immigration, I feel privileged to have this option to be back home again and have met amazing people throughout.

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To Be Continued: Multilocality and Work My research has shown that a lot of emphasis on space and place as a geographic location are moving toward migration, placemaking and identity construction. With my thesis being the first part in investigating how mobility becomes part of migrants’ life, how it changes their feelings of belonging and practices of place attachment, I would like to continue to explore the enrichment of the workforce and role of cities for transnational lifestyle at a macro level of structure. With the emerging reality of remote work that might become inevitable post pandemic, one may belong in multiple places geographically and virtually through the workplace. Can one find remote work abroad from her home country? Would knowledge workers have more freedom to pick a project or company regardless of where they live? Robert Nadler says that creative knowledge work is based on an understanding of language, culture and symbolic meanings, which

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can best be obtained through local and national embeddedness. How is this solved through an individual’s effort? How can this freedom of mobility and access to culture and knowledge become more open to those who currently do not have as many choices?

Multilocality pursues a multi perspective approach and the balance between agency and structure. What could be the future of work for multilocals?

Individual Agency

Dynamics of social and socio-economic structures in workplace

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B I B L I O G R A P HY

Baldassar, L., Baldock, C. and Wilding, R. (2007) Families Caring Across Borders: Migration, Aging and Transnational Caregiving, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. Broad GM. 2012. Revolution on Primetime TV: Jamie Oliver takes on the US School Food System. See Frye & Bruner 2012, pp. 190–205 Bryceson, D. and Vuorela, U. (2002) The Transnational Family: New European Frontiers and Global Networks, Berg, Oxford, New York. Castañeda, Heide and Holmes, Seth M. and Madrigal, Daniel and Young, Maria Elena DeTrinidad and Beyeler, Naomi and Quesada, James, Immigration as a Social Determinant of Health (March 2015). Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 36, pp. 375-392, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/ abstract=2581489 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev publhealth-032013-182419 Comas-Diaz, L., and Griffith, E.E. (Eds.). (1988). Clinical Guidelines in Cross-Cultural Mental Health. New York: Wiley. Ellison, Katherine “Treating the growing trauma of family separation“. Knowable Magazine, January 2rd, 2020, https://www.knowablemagazine.org/article/ mind/2020/treating-growing-trauma-family-separation. Escobar, N. (2018, August 15). Family Separation Isn’t New. Retrieved January 27, 2020, from https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/08/us- immigration-policy-has-traumatized-children-for-nearly-100-years/567479/

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Freedman, A. (n.d.). Serving Up Tradition: A Guide for School Food in Culturally Diverse Communities. SERVING UP TRADITION: A Guide for School Food in Culturally Diverse Communities. Massachusetts Farm to School. Gaw, A.C. (Ed.). (1993). Culture, Ethnicity and Mental Illness. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press Geert Thyssen & Ian Grosvenor (2019) Learning to make sense: interdisciplinary perspectives on sensory education and embodied enculturation, The Senses and Society, 14:2, 119-130, DOI: 10.1080/17458927.2019.1621487 Hawkinson, Jessica “Searching for a Place to Call Home: The Challenges Facing Europe ‘s Cosmopolitan Citizens”. Macalester International, 2008, https:// digitalcommons.macalester.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www. google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1429&context=macintl. Hendricks, M., Wiley, M., & Hendricks, T. (1970, January 30). Zero Tolerance: An Ongoing History of Family Separations at the US-Mexico Border. Retrieved January 27, 2020, from https://www.kqed.org/news/11797878/zero- tolerance-an-ongoing-history-of-family-separations-at-the-u-s-mexico border Kalekin-Fisherman, Devorah. “Everyday Life in Asia Social Perspectives on the Senses.” Routledge, 2010. McIntyre, J., & Bentall, R. (2020, February 18). Immigrants suffer higher rates of psychosis – here’s how to start helping them. Retrieved March 27, 2020, from https://theconversation.com/immigrants-suffer-higher-rates-of psychosis-heres-how-to-start-helping-them-73552

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B I B L I O G R A P HY

Nadler, Robert. “Multilocality: An Emerging Concept between the Terms of Mobility and Migration.” Università degli Studi Milano-Bicocca, October, 2009. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity. Immigration as a Social Determinant of Health: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2018 Aug 30. 3, Immigration and the Social Determinants of Health. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535940/

Pink, Sarah. Doing Sensory Ethnography. Sage Publications, 2015 Riley KC. 2018. “Don’t yuck my yum”: semiotics and the socialization of food ideologies at an elite elementary school. Semiot. Rev. In press “Statistics on U.S. Immigration: An Assessment of Data Needs for Future Research.” National Academies Press: OpenBook, https://www.nap.edu/ read/4942/chapter/5. Shilling, Rose. “Navigating Immigration Policy Is a Challenge as Food Processors Seek Employees.” Food Engineering RSS, Food Engineering, 12 Nov. 2019, https://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/98534-navigating immigration-policy-is-a-challenge-as-food-processors-seek-employees. Smeekes, Anouk et al. “Social identity continuity and mental health among Syrian refugees in Turkey.” Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology vol. 52,10 (2017): 1317-1324. doi:10.1007/s00127-017-1424-7

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Traverso, V. (2019, October 17). Learning About Cities by Mapping Their Smells. Retrieved January 27, 2020, from https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/art mapping-smell-smellscapes-kate-mclean Vangay, Pajau et al. “US Immigration Westernizes the Human Gut Microbiome.” Cell vol. 175,4 (2018): 962-972.e10. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2018.10.029 Valdez, Carmen R. “Belonging and Identity for the Children of Immigrants.” TheHill, 2 Jan. 2019, thehill.com/opinion/immigration/423436-belonging-and identity-for-the-children-of-immigrants. Van der Kolk, Bessel. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. Penguin Books, 2015. Washington, John. “Family Separations at Border Constitute Torture, New Report Claims.” The Intercept, 25 Feb. 2020, theintercept.com/2020/02/25/family separations-border-torture-report/. Yin, S. (2018, November 8). The Ecosystem in Immigrants’ Guts Is Shaped by the Place They Call Home. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes. com/2018/11/08/health/immigration-gut-microbiome.html.

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Acknowledgement This book and work over the past year has been an exploration of my own personal experience and for a future that could be more inclusive for migrant communities. Throughout the research, the design and the building of my thesis, there are many people who have supported me, encouraged me, and participated in one way or another to make this thesis possible. I am greatful for my family, friends and academic mentors who have helped me grow as a designer, writer and researcher.

Thank you to: Allan Chochinov, Jennifer Rittner, Kristina Lee, Elspeth Walker, Marko Manriquez, Steven Dean, Claire Hartten, Andrew Schloss, Marc Dones, Shanti Mathews, Bill Cromie, Ollie Gillett, Sinclair Smith, Krissi Xenakis Class of 2020, PoD Alumni Subject Matter Experts, Workshop and User Testing participants


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Profile for Seona Joung

Home in Progress by Seona Joung  

A year-long exploration on the idea of multilocality, and how it is manifested in migrants' identities and health. Written and designed by...

Home in Progress by Seona Joung  

A year-long exploration on the idea of multilocality, and how it is manifested in migrants' identities and health. Written and designed by...

Profile for sjoung
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