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The Inzovu Curve

(project via UX for Good)

Mental Model  |  Design Research, Visual Design

This is one of the most meaningful design projects I've had the privilege to work on. UX for Good brought a group of experience design practitioners to Kigali, Rwanda; and we teamed up with the staff at the Kigali Genocide Memorial (KGM) to think about how they might channel their visitors' often overwhelming thoughts and emotions into positive action.

The Original Exhibit

The Original Exhibit

The KGM's depiction of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi was powerful and effective, but it often left visitors despondent. As we followed the KGM's work, however, we came across their educational mobile exhibit of the genocide's heroes -- a way to teach school children about the past while giving them a hopeful foundation for the present and future. With their mobile exhibit, the KGM had the solution to their design problem, they just needed to weave it into the permanent collection.

The Inzovu Curve

The Inzovu Curve

We came up with several solutions that involved the memorial's layout and exhibit content, but they were all centered around the mental model pictured above. Because of its shape, we called it the Inzovu Curve. Inzovu is the Kinyarwanda word for "elephant."

Creating Catalysts for Change

Creating Catalysts for Change

In order to inspire someone to become a hero in their own community, the KGM needed to be honest with them about the horrors of what happened, but also show that it was possible for regular people to prevent or circumvent even the most severe atrocities.

This model is now being tested at similar organizations across the world.