Design Takes on Cancer | Boston Design Week | April 4, 2019

Submitted by anoopa on Mon, 04/01/2019 - 13:46

No one wants to think about cancer. But it has a large impact on society and a profound impact on individuals and families.

About 1.7 M people are diagnosed with it each year in the US. The majority will survive. The quest for better and earlier diagnoses and cures dominate our attention.

This session, hosted by the Boston Collaboration Hub Powered by WeWork and the Biden Cancer Initiative, the Institute for Human Centered Design and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, will take a close look at the home & work living experience for people with cancer. The onslaught of sensory and nervous system changes can make it hard to get enough food and sleep. Hypersensitivity of skin, hearing and even sight can add to the challenge of recovery. Memory and attention are compromised and impede sticking with the demands of treatment. Framing the problem will begin with cancer patients sharing their stories about the nagging side effects that sap needed energy and hope. 

This session intends to focus on opportunities for practical problem-solving, catalyzing design innovation that responds to the physical and sensory onslaught of those in cancer treatment and recovery. Success would deliver improved quality of life and an invaluable restoration of confidence.  

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2019
Time: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: WeWork @ 200 Portland Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02114


Dr. Karen Fasciano, Psy. D
Senior Psychologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care
Associate Psychologist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Department of Psychiatry
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

A clinical psychologist and Director of the Young Adult Program at the Dana-Farber /Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. Dr. Fasciano has created a body of innovative clinical interventions to improve emotional care for young adults coping with cancer including an interactive educational website, a series of videos, conversation aids and integration of platforms such as Twitter into clinical care. Most recently she has been working on a smart phone application to help with coping with cancer. 

Bob David
Manager, Cancer Support Programs,
Boston Medical Center

Bob has worked with a variety of challenged populations, including people who are homeless, in recovery from substance abuse, and/or incarcerated or formerly incarcerated. Since 2008 he has managed the full range of cancer support programs at Boston Medical Center and facilitated the majority of its support group meetings. He and his assistants work continuously to create, implement, and improve upon programs to meet the social and emotional needs of the BMC cancer survivorship community. In addition to cancer support groups, offerings include a variety of ongoing activities; special workshops, presentations, and outings; and celebratory annual events. 

Mina Jafapour
Service Designer, The Lab at OPM, U.S. Office of Personnel Management 

Mina is a designer, strategist and educator, currently focusing on future employment for people with disability, system design and social innovation with The Lab. Prior to joining The Lab in September, she worked as a consultant and as an educator for several innovation labs, non-profits and schools. Mina has a great interest in connecting people and facilitating collaboration by design. 

Beverly Ann Rock
Social Worker at Law Firm

Beverly Ann Rock is a cancer survivor who is a Bostonian with Caribbean roots who also has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), a genetic nerve disease.  She works full-time as a social worker in a law firm. She also serves on UMASS Boston’s Institutional Research Board (IRB). She also an ‘alum’ of the MIT Assistive Technology Hack. 

Moderated by: Valerie Fletcher 
Executive Director, Institute for Human Centered Design 

Valerie Fletcher has been Executive Director since 1998 of the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD). Fletcher writes, lectures and works internationally. She currently oversees projects ranging from the development of a new national website on accessibility and inclusive design in cultural facilities for the National Endowment for the Arts to a wide range of consultation and design services to public, and private entities in the US and globally. She created the IHCD User/Expert Lab which has over 300 people engaged in the evaluation of places, products and services. Her research focus is integrated social and environmentally sustainable solutions for multifamily housing, healthcare, culture, workplaces, and the public realm. 


6:00 p.m. - Networking & Refreshments
6:30 p.m. - Session + Q&A
7:30 p.m. - Networking

For more information or questions, contact 
Anoopa Sundararajan: | 617-695-1225 x 248
Gabriela Bonome-Sims: | 617-695-1225 x 222