dipali : context-driven designer
 

 

動作 : behavior

research about Japanese culture surrounding women’s health

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objective

Women’s health has been a historical and cross-cultural social taboo that influences behavior towards women and the scientific evolution surrounding their well-being. This uncomfortable mis-association with the industries that try to tackle women’s health and social rights — such as design, education, medicine, etc. — transcends into slower progress for modern age social, economic, and ecological structures.

During a four-month stay in Japan (traveling between Tokyo, Sabae, Fukuoka, and Okinawa), I wanted to research the cultural and behavioral differences in citizen education, patient information-seeking, and clinical procedures about female reproductive health, and how they compare to citizens outside of Japan who are typically from western countries. Research methodologies during this time included many interactions with local Japanese citizens and medical professionals via surveys, interviews, observations, co-designing sessions, and informal conversations.

 

details

Keio University Graduate School of Media Design

Professors Marcos Sadao Maekawa, Yamen Saraiji, & Masa Inakage

Tokyo, Japan

 

Survey questions regarding existing behavior & knowledge

Global Data Set (survey link)

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Japanese Data Set (survey link)

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I’ve been surprised [about] how many things I would not know about my own health as a woman if certain things had not come up in conversation with my friends.
— Jenna, American Graduate Student

 

Survey Questions regarding specific procedures

Global Data Set (survey link)

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Japanese Data Set (survey link)

graph jap procedure.jpg
 

The patient to doctor relationship in Japan is uncomfortable because you can’t talk to [doctors] about everything. There is a type of ‘class society’ where doctors act like they are above normal people.
— Natalia, Japanese Dentist (formerly lived in Brazil and America)

 

Findings

While Japan has one of the leading healthcare infrastructures — in terms of medical technology, access to clinical professionals, and high standards for medical facilities — there are traditional male-to-female behavioral processes at play behind how citizens and the healthcare infrastructure interact. Variances in gender roles and their hierarchies in society translate to the knowledge and access to female reproductive health products and services. My call to action from this research was to postulate a platform that would engage with citizens directly about their health education, so that they could maximize their interactions with clinical professionals.

 

knowledge is power

creating a digital platform

  • An easily accessible area that provides open source information about women’s health.  

  • Build confidence in users who access this platform by providing information about what other people like them are thinking.  

  • Demystify confusing & conflicting information seen in the media about hyper-sexualization, and at home or school about conservatism.  

  • Connect the platform to other organizations, like doctors and clinics, through subsidies from the government.

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