empowering social housing residents

Service Design

Imperial College


Maintenance in council estates has evolved into a complex challenge for social housing stakeholders over the past 30 years, mainly due to decreasing local government budget coupled with the emergence of private contractors.

Rightfully so, residents feel unheard when seeking services to maintain their home or their building in a good state, affecting comfort of everyday life, as well as community cohesion and contentment.

"When people have a building that’s falling apart they won’t look after it and remain unhappy about it. It produces some sort of snowball, a vicious circle effect."

Dr. Helena Trippe

Expert in the housing sector

React focuses on improving the way repair needs are reported by residents and diagnosed by contractors, in individual homes, as well as for shared building spaces. The aim is to make residents feel empowered by giving them the ability to easily report problems, individually or as a community, and benefit from a more efficient and transparent maintenance process.

React’s innovative and competitive edge relies on coupling technology (a connected, interactive device) with people (resident building representatives). Offering a product working in synergy with a human-led service has the potential to make maintenance requests easier and more efficient than ever before.

Key challenges

How to implement automation without compromising existing behaviours which promote the sense of community? How to make the digital repair flow accessible to all, regardless of age or social and cultural background?

Role in my team

This project brought together 5 students with a mix of design and engineering background. I was responsible for designing the interactive board device, which entailed prototyping the digital interface and modelling the physical board.


Ethnographic research • service design • interactive UX prototypes (Sketch) • 3D modelling (Solidworks)

Ethnographic research

The team explored and defined the main challenges faced by social housing associations through carrying interviews with social housing tenants and reaching out to different industry experts. After narrowing down the research, an opportunity was formulated within which the solution was prototyped. During this process, all decisions were taken based on insights derived from the research.

UX and board design

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