The OCD Empathy Kit — a final year project by USP alum Desiree Lim (Industrial Design + USP, Class of 2018) — was among the three projects by NUS Design and Environment graduates selected from more than a thousand applications to be featured at this year’s Global Grad Show in Dubai from 13 to 17 November.

Desiree embarked on her project with the intention to tackle the “trivialisation of mental illness” as she has encountered many instances of people treating mental illness as “a fashion statement or a flippant joke”. She believes that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in particular tends to be one of the most joked about mental illnesses, which contributes to misconceptions about the condition. The Kit comprises a collection of devices that translates the ordeal of OCD into an auditory and interactive experience to foster understanding of the condition. Watch this video in which the USP community tried out the project prototype.

Desiree expressed, “I truly believe that design thrives in works that cross multi-disciplinary fields, especially when it brings new perspectives. Being in the USP while pursuing design provided me with an avenue to continually discover new ways of thinking in various fields of study, and figure out how it sits with design. Embarking on a project like the OCD Empathy Kit meant that I needed as many voices as possible to inform my design accurately, and the USP community was definitely one I knew I could depend on to provide the feedback and support necessary for the project.”

It is through moments like this that we learn to appreciate our diverse yet closely-knit community, of how we can give courage and support to one another to go out there and do well. Congrats, Desiree! Continue to soar high and make an impact through your designs.

Read other coverage of the event on NUS News.


OCD Empathy Kit 2

The OCD Empathy Kit by Desiree.



The Global Grad Show 2018, which is into its fourth edition, showcased 150 innovative prototypes from 100 universities and 61 nationalities.