The bumpy road

Nina Schouten

Nina designed The Bumpy Road, a platform to support the healthy mental development of adolescents from a holistic perspective.

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to developing mental health problems due to the physical, social and psychological changes they experience during this time. There is a taboo around talking about mental health and society often turns a blind eye to the issue, which can make adolescents feel abnormal and alone. They may lack the knowledge and understanding to talk about their struggles and feel not taken seriously when they are told that their problems are ‘just part of life’.

This graduation project explores how the concept of Problem Sustaining Interaction (PSI) patterns can be used for design, with a focus on adolescent mental development. It concludes that PSI patterns consist of smaller, reinforcing feedback loops, many of which together cause a system to move towards a problematic state. Changing a system requires effort and external support. By understanding the patterns, it becomes clear which strategies can bring about positive change.

The Bumpy Road is a platform that uses podcasts to help young people learn about and understand their feelings. In each podcast, a storyteller tells a personal story about a time in their life when they struggled, and a pattern expert uncovers the problematic patterns at play. These patterns are linked to other stories on the platform, helping listeners to understand why problems recur and how to navigate towards a more sustainable situation.

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