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exploreID: Graphic Narratives in Healthcare

October 23, 2019
6:00-8:00pm CST
IIT Institute of Design
3137 S. Federal St 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60616

What do we mean when we say design? Through exploreID, we invite you to explore design at IIT Institute of Design (ID) through different lenses and projects.

In a project funded by UChicago Medicine’s Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, ID students and faculty explored how visual narratives could better educate patients about radiation therapy. Understanding radiation treatment can be overwhelming for cancer patients and their caregivers, especially since patients often receive information at points of high emotional stress. Hear Tomoko Ichikawa, clinical professor at the Institute of Design, talk with UChicago Medicine physicians Dr. Daniel Golden and Dr. Brian Callender about how communication design can help patients have more constructive conversations with their doctors. The converastion will be moderated by current MDes student Prachi Saxena.

About the speakers

Tomoko Ichikawa, Clinical Professor, IIT Institute of Design
Tomoko Ichikawa is a clinical professor of design at the Institute of Design. With 20 years experience in communication simplification and information design, Tomoko’s focus has been on creating visuals that clearly reflect the content structure to effectively communicate. After receiving her B.A. in interpersonal and intercultural communication at International Christian University in Tokyo, she pursued her interest in the visual world that led her to IIT Institute of Design where she received her M.S. degree. Her interest has focused on the syntax and semantic aspects of the visual language, using appropriate sign systems to match information structure to visual structure. In particular, diagrams and, more recently, the emerging field of computer-generated data visualizations are her area of exploration.

Brian Callender, MD and Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago 
Brian Callender, MD is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and a core faculty member at the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge. He is interested in the intersection of comics, design and the delivery of healthcare and how this intersection can improve the experience of illness and patient education. He teach several courses in the health humanities, including: The Body in Medicine and the Performing Arts, Graphic Medicine: Concepts and Practice, and The Art of Healing: Medical Aesthetics in the USSR and US. Through grant support from the Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, he has partnered with the IIT Institute of Design to create patient education materials incorporating graphic narrative.

Dan Golden, Radiation Oncologist, University of Chicago Medicine
Dan believes that patients need to understand their disease process and medical care to maximize their active participation in the care process while reducing anxiety about treatment.  Working as a radiation oncologist at the University of Chicago Medicine, he uses radiation to treat patients with all types of cancer.  Dan has enjoyed developing a unique interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration between physicians at the University of Chicago Medicine and design experts at IIT Institute of Design to explore novel approaches to patient education and patient-physician communication.  He has a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and both a medical degree and masters in health professions education from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Prachi Saxena, MDes student, Moderator 
Prachi Saxena is an Anthropologist at heart with a Designer mindset. Post a Master's in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and a career as a design researcher, she is currently a graduate student at the Institute of Design and recipient of the Peter W Cherry Design Foundation Fellowship. She is enthusiastic about asking the gnarly questions, flipping orthodoxies, and making the abstract real. With a focus on Design Strategy she works at the intersection of human, business and technology to solve for a variety of industries such as financial services, healthcare, etc. She has lead projects ranging from service concepts to promote energy savings for low income families to elegant graphic narratives to enable patient agency and decision making. Being a multidisciplinary advocate for humanized innovation she hopes to bring human needs at the center of designing futures.


About IIT Institute of Design (ID)
Founded by László Moholy-Nagy as The New Bauhaus in 1937, IIT Institute of Design (ID) is known for pioneering human-centered design and systems design. Today we are home to the only US design school devoted completely to graduate students. But ID is more than a graduate school. We are an international community of learners and practitioners building responsible, cooperative, intelligent futures to address the biggest issues of our time. Learn more about ID at