Innovation School MDes Design Innovation & Service Design

Ruoying Zhu ((She/Her))

I am a multidisciplinary designer devoted to sharing my designs in plain language.

With a background in service design and architectural design, I can think about design perspectives and ways of thinking from different angles and always consider how to apply both approaches across the boundaries of different content.

Empowering my project participants is my design principle. Through my design process, I hope to encourage my collaborators to co-design with me to make a difference in their lives. I firmly believe everyone is an expert in life experiences and will consistently deliver that message.

The Exchange: Making meaningful connections through exchange

Collaborative Work
Self Care Community system | GSA*NHS 24


RESONATE is a classical music exchange platform that connects listeners and aspiring young musicians
to share their experiences and knowledge.


“There is no need to worry too much about the decline of young audiences for classical music; they will fall in love with it when they are older.”

This view no longer seems to apply in a world of ever-innovating cultural events and progressively richer communication channels. The classical music industry is facing a slow generational shift in audiences and is struggling to attract new, younger audiences.

At the same time, the high talent- and experience-driven job market environment poses a challenge to young musicians regarding career development within the industry.


In this project, I used qualitative research to gain insight into young audiences’ ideas, listening habits and interest in cultural events and classical music.

At the same time, I actively communicated and collaborated with industry experts and music students to conceptualise opportunities to promote young musicians.


RESONATE wants to reinvent Younger Generation’s relationship with classical music and classical musicians by connecting listeners and aspiring young musicians.

Listeners request content based on their interests, such as a piece of classical music that suits my personality. The musician looks at this request and responds to the listener by generating a unique classical music blog. We call this process ‘classical resonance’.

The platform hopes to facilitate a new communicative relationship between listeners and musicians, bridging the barriers to classical music for the younger generation and thus expanding the audience for classical music.



The Exchange: Making meaningful connections through exchange


Cumbernauld, like many New Towns, lacks a ‘heart’. While locals can’t seem to agree on what’s missing – from adequate  nightlife, transport, to housing – they are united regarding the uncertainty of their future there. Cumbernauld is suffering an image problem; it is in desperate need of a community-led revival, not another overpromising plan.


We found out how people experience and perceive Cumbernauld – from local residents young and old, students from nearby, to business owners, and charities. Using probes and conducting co-design workshops at a community hub, we discovered that while Cumbernauld as a whole receives negative attention, a majority was centred around one neighbourhood – Carbrain. Our proposal aims to address immediate concerns and relief for Carbrain, while providing a reason to care for Cumbernauld in the long term.


Our proposal champions the exchange of ideas, aid, and gifts – strengthening community by providing a space where meaningful activities and learning can take place. Using Cumbernauld’s railway station’s strategic placement to signpost to third-sector and commercial organisations, The Exchange supports deprived communities today, and cares for future generations tomorrow.

The Exchange is a service design proposal with UK New Towns in mind, and Cumbernauld at its heart.

Self Care Community system | GSA*NHS 24


Plenty of non-critical calls to NHS 111 is one big reason caused the backlog of NHS24, which increased loads of pressure to call handlers and fewer opportunities for those who really need medical support to connect to NHS services. At the same time, the long waiting time to get a response makes patients’ experience with calling 111 become worse – it’s a negative loop in the current system.


Integrating patients’ needs into preventive supportive community services.

we worked with the NHS24 design team, NHS staff and patients to understand and contextualise the current NHS healthcare system priorities, planning and the needs of healthcare professionals and patients.

we conducted street interviews, in-depth interviews and co-design workshops to gain a deeper understanding of the different needs of current users and to translate them into service mapping according to priority.

we have received positive feedback from the NHS24 team of experts who have assisted us in getting the solution optimised, as well as from a number of core users who have tested it to prove the viability of the service solution.


An online community system facilitated on NHS inform platform.

Offload pressure of non-critical calls from NHS 111 by empowering preventive care via an online Self-care community system facilitated on NHS inform website.


“Providing and caring for someone and seeing them flourish and grow from it give me empowerment ( in this process). ” – K, the core user

We identified and brought to life the different users and their emotional journeys using NHS24 services, determining themes and topics for tailoring responses, events and experiences to NHS24 targeted users. by working in the open, sharing and learning as we went along, we demonstrated our work to the NHS Service design & expert team and aligned everyone behind one vision for the efficient, critical service.

Through collaboration across sectors, we were able to map and re-design a deliverable community care system based on current service offerings, allowing for a more efficient, critical, compelling experience for stakeholders, towards the sustainability of NHS in the long term.


Self care community system

Self care community forum

community quiz

self care community event page

Event detail page

Event joining page

Co-design workshop

Inffinity mapping

Service System Map

Communities for sustainable culture of self-care