Innovation School MDes Design Innovation & Service Design

Yifei Liu

My practice centres on design research, where I strive to harness creativity within a logical framework. I perceive insights and creativity as a new perspective, a way to look at things people overlook. I am especially interested in topics like education equality, diversity, and inclusion, originating from my several experiences working with children with specific needs. For personal projects, my interests involve senses and emotions. My aspiration is to evolve into a transdisciplinary designer.

IG: @yifei.iii
Project document
Creative ways to weave stronger community cohesion, Govanhill as an example
WeeCare – caring transition
Sense Space elective portfolio
Personal project – drawings & videos

Project document


Creative ways to weave stronger community cohesion, Govanhill as an example




Govanhill is Scotland’s most diverse neighbourhood, reflecting the nation’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity. Intrigued by this dynamic and the local impact, I delved into Govanhill’s community life. Research and a field trip unveiled the pivotal role of personal narratives and storytelling in bridging cultural gaps and fostering unity among diverse backgrounds.

Eager to contribute, I contemplated celebrating cultural diversity through my work and showcasing Govanhill as a potential model for other communities. Participating in Milk Café’s events allowed me to immerse myself as both an observer and a participant, granting me profound insights into culture’s intricacies. While cultural disparities may loom large, embracing personal narratives reveals our shared humanity and diverse cultural imprints. Viewing culture through personal narratives dispels biases and judgments stemming from perceived differences.

A little bit of context

Integration: as a two-way learning process.

“Both migrants and the host society contribute to a common culture, while a sense of diversity and cultural heritage is retained.”


Community cohesion: essential in the coexistence of different groups of people.

“Community cohesion is what must happen in all communities to enable different groups of people to get on well together. Integration is a key contributor to successful Community Cohesion.”

Insights from the immersive experience at Milk Café

Milk Café is a social enterprise that aims to help refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants’ integration. It provides a welcoming community space for workshops, activities and assistance.

I started my two weeks of immersive participant observation at Milk Café. I mainly participated in Wednesday’s Women’s group and Friday’s English Conversation Cafe.

I gained four insights from my experience there…

  • Personal identity: People carry identity themes, which makes their narratives unique.
  • Community: Community as cultural identity, place, and shared value.
  • Communication: Construct a concept from different perspectives.
  • Food: Edible identities, food as cultural heritage.


After synthesis, I found a positive loop and understood the context as follows:

The goal is to build community cohesion, with personal narrative lying in the centre, and the way to evoke narrative is by taking food as a conversation icebreaker and constructing the concept from different perspectives so that people learn new things from each other. The key part and the starting point is the inclusion. The opportunity seems clear…

How can we inclusively utilize the construction of concepts of foods to promote personal narratives, thereby strengthening culturally diverse community cohesion?

Final outcome: Community recipe library

The design outcome at this stage is a community recipe library as a service touchpoint of Milk Café’s food sessions, showcasing the diverse cultural heritages of the community, acting as a community asset and a storyteller. After several food sessions, the recipes can be published as regularly issued magazines to expand its impact. Also, the program can have social accounts that post photos and videos to promote lively presentations to the community.

Potentials are other organizations in the community or other communities that can refer and learn from this model and create their own community asset. In the future, the opportunity would be that different communities have different assets, and overall, it shapes a more diverse represented Scotland, yet the common culture is celebrating the diversity.

For details, please see the project document on the top.



insight 1

insight 2

insight 3

insight 4

context understanding

prototype 1

prototype 2

testing 1

testing 2

testing 3

testing 4

outcome 1

outcome 2

WeeCare – caring transition


How should the unmet needs within the transitional phases of care experienced young people be addressed in order that the service provision better meet these needs and experiences of the young people engaged in the system?


We are looking into children and young people’s experiences during the transitional phases in the care system. After research, we found that one of the main issues was during a young person’s care journey, it was difficult to form stable and meaningful relationships due to various reasons, such as lack of labour resources of social workers, high turnover rate, being moved constantly from places to places. This affected their willingness and ability in the future to form other meaningful relationships that are beneficial in terms of problem-solving, emotional support, material support, and advocacy.


A positive chain reaction that starts from stability to form meaningful relationships.

We saw the significance of stability in relationships and proposed benefits that follow.



We are proposing a mentor program service within the care system that pairs young people with volunteers to provide a stable relationship supporting their journey throughout care and beyond.

Potential long-term impacts are :

  • For young people: More young people can benefit from healthy relationships to realise their full potential.
  • For the community: According to our previous research, many social workers enter this field due to their experience. Many care-experienced young people become advocators in the care system later. With more young people benefiting themselves, they will be more likely to contribute back to the mentor program as mentors or advocators.
  • For government: More young people having healthy and supportive relationships could reduce the possibility of them experiencing many placements due to them acting out to protect themselves, which helps to reduce the workload of social workers and the high turnover rate. It also reduces young people’s unemployment, homelessness, and crime chances. The money used to pay the police, adjustments and other fiscal expenditures could be saved to invest in more sustainable programs such as mentor programs or used in another field.



micro system

chain reaction

insights summary

mentor program


Sense Space elective portfolio

This is the project documentation of the elective Sense Space, where we explore space in relation to different senses: touch, smell, sound, see, taste… Finally, we have our Sensorium individual experiment and create a sensory space.

Hope you enjoy reading!

Sense Space portfolio

Sonic Landscape Exploration in City Hall, Glasgow

Personal project – drawings & videos

Enlightened 1

Enlightened 2

A potrait of a house by the fire

Delicious skull

Come across