Some of the world’s most serious health and social issues are ignored or hidden from public view. As a result, many people who need help are afraid to seek it. At Talking Taboos, we use design and behavioural science to understand the beliefs and attitudes that fuel these stigmas, and work with communities to develop design solutions to challenge taboos.
Before covid disrupted all our lives, the Talking Taboos and Common teams had been exploring the taboo of loneliness and what could help tackle it. In the last year we have experienced increased loneliness and isolation as we stayed home, were physically distanced and lost loved ones, but also enhanced closeness as communities came together and supported each other through acts of kindness, compassion and organised groups like mutual aid.
We believe that we need to tackle loneliness by creating more moments for local connections - spaces where we can meet and connect with people we live near, rebuilding a sense of community and potentially making new friends.
We need a solution that will nurture our communities, so we are arranging a cooking class with neighbours that will foster connections with people who live close to each other. We hope that in the summer months (restrictions pending) we can take this class outdoors into a street dinner.
We are designing our first events to include conversation prompts that we hope will help spark connections.
If you’d like to read more about connecting with strangers here are a couple of the articles and resources we’ve found really helpful: