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Using Design to Tackle Social Inequalities: Meet Designer & Artist, Mathilda Della Torre

In a world that is striving to stay healthy, secure, and safe, one major pointer to whether it is achieving these set goals is its healthcare system. Healthcare on face value seems to be the most accessible part of any country, yet when you dig deep beyond having the flu, you realise there’s a lot of problems underneath – underfunded, underserved, rife with inequalities.
A very major problem that has been hard to tackle is the deep social inequality that has eaten deep into the fabric of healthcare systems.
In 2018, Serena Williams through her Venture, backed Mahmee, a data-driven maternal and infant health tech company with a focus to end the maternal mortality crisis among black women in the United States. This was born out of the need to address black women being ignored in the healthcare system in the US.
If you, therefore, think about these things deeply, you realise that there is a systemic design problem – with a lot of systems designed without taking into account diverse groups of people.
The question that arises is this, what if we could design our way out of it?
Designing for Social Inequalities - Mathilda Della Torre_Headshot.
Enter Mathilda Della Torre, the Designer and Artist who co-founded a design studio, On The Mend, that targets social inequalities in the UK healthcare system!


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As a collective, we stand in solidarity with Patientsnotpassport and Docsnotcops. No one should be afraid to go to the doctor, either because they can’t pay or might be punished. And doctors should not have to police the people they treat. Since the 23rd October 2017, NHS England introduced regulations requiring ID checks for all patients accessing most secondary care. Trusts are forced to charge upfront those who cannot provide ID to prove their eligibility for NHS treatment. DocsNotCops is a campaign group of NHS professionals and patients who believe health is a right and not a privilege. This policy is a public health disaster that will add more pressure to A&E as people fearful of discrimination and fees will only turn up to hospital when their illness has been an emergency instead of taking preventative steps to avoid a crisis. What are their demands? • End the Hostile Environment in the NHS • End upfront charging for secondary care • Scrap ID checks • Don’t double the Health Surcharge – drop it! Visit and for toolkits designed to support you in advocating for people facing charges for NHS care, and in taking action to end immigration checks and upfront charging in the NHS. #docsnotcops #patientsnotpassports

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Breaking down the factors that affect our experience of health – gender, ethnicity, race, illness, age, personal relationships, sexual orientation and experiences of trauma, Mathilda is erasing healthcare inequalities via On The Mend.
In addition to On The Mend, Mathilda is the graphics coordinator at Migrant’s Bureau, a social design & urbanism practice focused on disenfranchised & migrant communities. Plus, she is the Founder of Conversations from Calais, a design documentation that seeks to re­humanise the refugee crisis.


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Conversation 178

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“My work is about bringing people together through creative exchanges and placing marginalised voices at the centre of our stories. I want us to be reminded of our own and each others’ humanity and recognise one another by truly listening, seeing and bearing witness for others. So I would say that what inspires me the most is seeing how creativity can be used to create positive social change in so many different ways.” says Mathilda.


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Groceries and a tour of the local @conversationsfromcalais posters that haven’t been torn down

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Using the discipline of design, the French/Italian graphic designer and illustrator is focused on blurring the lines and barrier that exist causing social exclusion and we are excited to see all the impact she is making!
Follow amazing her work on Website and Instagram.

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