Innovation School MDes Design Innovation & Interaction Design

Yuzhe Tu (He/Him)

Hi, I’m Yuzhe Tu, an interdisciplinary designer and researcher. Guided by a user-centred design approach, I engaged in deep conversations and communication with people. Understanding their thoughts and attitudes defining their problems and needs, it is the users who have assisted me in refining my design.

Amidst the dawn’s rosy glow before the break of day, let out a resounding cry, as the boundaries of chaos slowly become clear. Use design to create and reshape the world.

I am not only an interdisciplinary designer but also a photographer.
Design works can be found at Portfolio
Photography on Instagram

Engage & Rise
Why do people care and matter?
Community Research
How does Engage&Rise work?

Engage & Rise

To address the strong desire of individuals affected by the cost-of-living crisis to re-establish connections with their community and find a sense of community belonging, Engage & Rise is designed to positively influence both individuals and the community using subtle variable factors through intentional interactions.

Engage & Rise has established a comprehensive community engagement system, which has established touchpoints on this foundation. These touchpoints utilize deliberate interaction variables to influence individuals to take the right step towards reconnecting with their community, starting from specific and small goals.

The distinctive value of Engage & Rise lies in its foundation built upon the existing asset system. It employs subtle interventions to influence residents’ community participation over the long term.

Cost of Living Crisis

System Model of Engage&Rise

Gathering people's ideas

Why do people care and matter?

We are facing the highest inflation rate in 40 years, with soaring prices for essentials such as food, energy, and housing exceeding people’s incomes. The cost-of-living crisis is causing those already on the margins of the community to become even more disconnected, dealing a double blow to individuals and the community. According to a research report by the Office for National Statistics, both volunteer participation in the community and charitable donations have seen a decline year-on-year.

The cost-of-living crisis affects every community resident’s quality of life and well-being. Residents want to stay informed about community affairs, but in the process of engaging, there are certain reservations and hesitations. This is the issue that I need to define clearly and deeply contemplate.

Community Research

With the help of Karen from the community learning development team at Moray Council, I have achieved more in-depth research outcomes based on the existing user data.

My research has revealed that the vast majority of people care about their communities and aspire to be a part of them. While most are aware of this, many fail to take action. There’s a disconnect between awareness and action, often due to a lack of confidence and motivation. However, my findings show that intentional interactions can unconsciously bridge this gap and provide a sense of belonging. This sense of belonging needs to be unearthed and acknowledged, and intentional interactions can achieve this. As this sense of belonging accumulates, people will rebuild their confidence and drive, ultimately taking a new step towards community involvement once a certain threshold is reached.

Assets Mapping Tool

Learn about community engagement with Karen

Data Analysis

How does Engage&Rise work?

Intentional interaction plays a significant role as a subtle variable that bridges the gap between awareness and behaviour. Intentional interaction within a community can manifest as conscious actions, ranging from minor to substantial. Through intentional interactions, individuals convey a sense of belonging within the community, allowing this sense to take root and grow like a seed in the hearts of each community member. As the nourishment of belonging and self-assurance accumulates within this “seed,” its growth eventually leads to blooming results, which aim to foster community engagement.

Intentional Interaction in Community

The Engage&Rise service system diagram begins within the local community, where the community offers a cup of hot tea and an available space ranging from small to large. Volunteers organize activities that prompt residents to participate in “tea time.” After engaging in tea time, residents proceed to a touchpoint in the service system, receiving communication cards as intentional reminders. Upon returning to their neighbourhoods with these cards, participants can initiate intentional interactions with their neighbours based on the content of the reminder. This approach aims to provide a sense of belonging and help rebuild confidence for residents who may not yet be ready to participate actively within the community.

System Model of Engage&Rise

Desktop Model

After iterations, the touchpoint of the Engage&Rise system is a Community Engagement Kit, which includes a guidebook, communication cards, and introduction cards.


First generation kit