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Service Design Academy

Designing a Cancer Lived Expertise Tartan 

Local designer Linsey McIntosh with the finished warp and weft of magical tartan

One of  Service Design Academy’s standout moments of 2023 was when we helped to co-design a unique lived experience tartan at CanDuCancer Dundee Support Networks  conference at the V&A Dundee  
 
People living with cancer, clinicians, health and cancer support specialists came together in November to share and learn about the value of lived expertise. 
 
Everyone listened to stories about the physical and emotional challenges that people living with cancer and their families face. A thought provoking Q&A facilitated by Dundee and Angus College’s Claire Mackay brought a wide range of voices together

Presentation slide at the CanDu Cancer Support Network Conference at V&A Dundee

We learned that although cancer treatment is world-class, patient empowerment for mental and emotional wellbeing needs to be explored and elevated. Empathy is good, but it can only go so far. Space needs to be made for people’s lived expertise to be really heard.  Collaboration is critical.

Design has an important part to play – not making assumptions about what people living with cancer need, but asking questions and listening to understand what the problems really are. Making sure that everyone’s voices are heard will shape future cancer services for the better. 

In the afternoon participants local designers Linsey McIntosh and Gary Kennedy asked participants to think about: 
 
💙 Why sharing lived expertise matters 
💛 What practical and emotional needs must be met. 

2 participants weaving thoughts and ideas together as the warp and weft of a magical tartan.
Participants weaving thoughts and ideas together as the warp and weft of a magical tartan.

Thoughts and ideas were woven together as the warp and weft of a magical tartan.  

2 participants weaving thoughts and ideas together as the warp and weft of a magical tartan.
2 participants weaving thoughts and ideas together as the warp and weft of a magical tartan.

 
Kim Anderson and Robbie Beautyman from Service Design Academy are now working on giving the lived expertise tartan a lasting legacy. They will analyse data gathered to synthesise into themes. This will help Dr Julie Wardrop and the CanDu team to share and continue to action with the Cancer Support community in Dundee and beyond. 
 
Thank you to everyone for making this a unique day. 
Peter Nurick Alison Connelly, Vicky Reid Gary, Linsey, Claire, Robbie, Kim, Aleksandra Daszyńska 
 
There were some tears, some shared frustrations and lots of laughter with a fantastic sing-song to end the day with the fabulous Maggie’s Centres Dundee Choir 
 
Thanks to all the partners and people who supported this event.  

Macmillan Cancer SupportTayside Cancer SupportJohn AlexanderThe ALLIANCE 

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