Information Design and Architecture in Persuasive Pharmacy Space: combating Anti-Microbial Resistance (IDAPPS)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Reading
Department Name: Typography and Graphic Communication


Information Design and Architecture in Persuasive Pharmacy Space: combating anti-microbial resistance (IDAPPS)

IDAPPS is an inter-disciplinary project bringing together academics and practitioners in graphic and information design, architecture, ergonomics and human factors, and pharmacy to consider how to support one of the strategic aims of the UK 5-Year Antimicrobial Resistance strategy 2013-18: how to 'improve the knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance'.

IDAPPS introduces 'persuasive space' in thinking about the presentation of information, its situation within an environment, and how users interact with it, in the context of a community pharmacy. Community pharmacies are socially inclusive and convenient, and today play a key role in delivering public health. They are places where people wait for prescriptions to be filled or to see a pharmacist, and offer a persuasive space to raise awareness of the dangers of Anti-Microbial Resistance.

Our inspiration for IDAPPS is work done by Otto and Marie Neurath in the 1930s to raise awareness of and support prevention of tuberculosis (TB). They produced a series of charts with striking and effective images based on consistent and carefully considered principles, for public display in schools and community centres. The Neuraths believed that the space in which the charts were read and used was important for their effective reception and understanding. This aligned with the notion of persuasive space in architecture, in particular a significant seam of work taking place in the 1930s in the early stages of modernism when functionalism came to the fore.

IDAPPs considers this historical context studying graphic and information design in the nineteenth- and early-twentieth century used to tell people about, for example, TB, infection spread, and approaches to hygiene to combat bacterial infection. We use this information to inform ideas for the development of designs for a persuasive pharmacy space, also taking account of user-centred information design projects which patients, families, carers, health professionals and designers work together, and the integrating and participatory principles of human factors and ergonomics.

IDAPPS has been designed to provoke and to generate ideas for future consideration. Through a competition, good practice report, and public exhibition, we anticipate a thriving legacy. A competition to design persuasive pharmacy space will comprise teams of information/graphic designers, architect or built environment professionals or researchers and pharmacy practitioners or researchers. It will result in the development of a winning prototype set up in a pharmacy. A report containing good practice guidelines for persuasive space in community pharmacies will contribute to expanding knowledge on the impact of the built environment and information design on wellbeing and education and will therefore be of interest to a wide variety of organisations. An exhibition will show examples of archival material to show how explanations and descriptions of AMR have been dealt with in the past, and the prototype design solutions.

To enhance feasibility and to add value to the project, we have engaged two project partners who are keen to work with us. Day Lewis is one of the largest independent pharmacy chains in the UK and Europe; its central purpose is 'to help people in the community stay healthy and feel better'. Design Science, a leading science communication design group, will advise on the transformation of scientific fact to understandable information, and will play a key role in the curation and design of the exhibition.

Planned Impact

IDAPPS will contribute improved knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in diverse local communities through Persuasive Pharmacy Space (PPS). IDAPPS beneficiaries are architecture and design practitioners, pharmacy users and workers, organisations who want to raise the profile of the dangers of AMR (especially in the context of the impact of the built environment on well-being and education), and the general public. Through their contacts and networks, our non-academic partners, Day Lewis and Design Science, offer additional opportunities for reach and engagement.

IDAPPS' impact is sought in 3 main ways:
- a Competition that will generate ideas and proposals for persuasive pharmacy space
- a Project Report containing good practice guidelines for developing persuasive spaces in community pharmacies, and that will have considerable reach if our plan to get it distributed by the General Pharmaceutical Council is achieved
- an Exhibition that will draw attention to approaches taken to combating AMR in the past. We are particularly keen to draw attention to the TB and malaria prevention campaigns realised by Otto and Marie Neurath as we have some evidence to suggest the approaches may be relevant today (see, for example, the quote in the Visual Evidence p.1). The Exhibition will display the work of the finalists in the Competition, and the final prototype.

In addition, we will produce papers for non-academic publications in each of the contributing disciplines, and generate impact through the project events and workshop, and social media.

IDAPPS's impact will achieve:
- recognition of the value of persuasive space in community pharmacies as a result of our good practice guidelines arising from the research
- a greater understanding of user needs and perceptions enabling a greater tailoring of pharmacy design experience
- demonstration of the value of well-designed health communication and the environment in which it is situated
- raised profile of explanations and descriptions of AMR produced in the past, and how they are relevant today
- greater understanding by architect and design practitioners of the value of drawing on cross-disciplinary research to enhance practice
- raised profile of research activity within design practice
- expansion of knowledge on the impact of the built environment on wellbeing and education
- raised profile and reach of our project partners, Day Lewis and Design Science
- reactions to the innovative outputs emerging from the Ideas Lab and Competition
Title Towards the persuasive pharmacy 
Description This digital exhibition shows the stages of the IDAPPS project. It is divided into the following sections: Pharmacy space and space to inform; Looking back; Our competition; 5 ideas; In place. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This digital exhibition has drawn attention to the integration of archival research with design-led methods, which has helped to raise the profile of the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection at the University of Reading. 
Description The project has show the relevance of considering how material from the past can inform or validate discussion that is relevant today. We found, for example, that materials for a campaign about tuberculosis produced in the 1930s by Otto and Marie Neurath stimulated discussion about working method and the presentation of information in the current project.

The project has affirmed the value of partnership working and co-design. One of the main project findings was the outcomes from the IDAPPS competition which has resulted in 5 distinctive approaches to explaining AMR within the context of a community pharmacy.

Two competition winners were developed to prototype stage and installed in community a community pharmacy and evaluated. The findings from this indicate that the interventions worked well, and have potential for further development. One of the installations is being taken further in a Rwandan context.
Exploitation Route The co-design method / Ideas Lab and competition has proved an excellent way of working.

Use of material in archives and collections to inform thinking about a contemporary issue.
Sectors Education,Healthcare

Description The two winners of the IDAPPS competition have been further developed: Public Health England won funding to take forward their competition entry, and to develop the antibiotic checklist guidelines proposed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. This was was also supported by the Antibiotic Guardian campaign. The Commonwealth Pharmacy Association expressed interest in Beat Bad Bugs competition entry and this developed into a project Beat Bad Bugs Rwanda (funded by part of the University of Reading's GCRF allocation for partnership building.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

Description IDAPPS Ideas Lab 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The IDAPPS Ideas Lab was a two-day workshop where cross-disciplinary teams worked together on ideas for communicating information about antimicrobial resistance in community pharmacies. The teams shared their ideas with pharmacy users and obtained feedback; they worked with pharmacists and pharmacy workers and visited a local pharmacy to make sure that the ideas were relevant and useful. At the end of the Ideas Lab the teams went away to develop their ideas into prototypes for consideration in the IDAPPS competition
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018