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Q&A with Winner of Projects with Social Impact Award 2020: Theodore Scoufis for FireLink

Q&A with Winner of Projects with Social Impact Award 2020: Theodore Scoufis for FireLink

About the Projects with Social WantedDesign’s Projects with Social Impact Award for 2020 went to Theodore Scoufis of The School of Visual Arts (USA) for his project FireLink, an information management ecosystem for firefighters. We interviewed the winners of the Conscious Design Awards to learn more about their projects, their design interests and why the notion of “conscious design” is important to them.

Theodore Scoufis

Theodore, tell us a bit about you, your school, and your area of study.

I served in the Army as a Ranger before moving to New York City where I studied political science at Columbia University and then product design at Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts.

Tell us about the project you presented at WantedDesign Brooklyn

FireLink is an information management ecosystem for firefighters that focuses on the 4:30 minutes between receiving the call from dispatch and arrival on the scene. The purpose of the system is to provide firefighters with real-time insight into the conditions of the building they are responding to. FireLink is a bifurcated system of data collection and information dissemination that is based on input from FDNY firefighters. Data is collected via three different sources: the Data Standpipe, data landscape, and the pre-fire inspection reports—and disseminated via two main modes: the command center tablet app and the helmet mounted augmented reality heads-up display. Information gathered by FireLink allows firefighters to make more effective decisions more efficiently, which will reduce threat to civilians, firefighters, and property.

Why do you think your project specially appealed to the Jury?

I believe that FireLink appealed to the jury because it reflects a deep compassion for emergency service workers, effectively wields technology to create a novel solution to a complex problem, and is informed by a unique understanding of emergency response that can only come from experience.

How would you like the project to evolve and potentially be implemented?

I look forward to developing the in-building sensor system that will be able to internal conditions in real-time to fire fighters as they respond to calls.

How do you and your project relate to the notion of “conscious and responsible design”?

In the case of FireLink, conscious is the understanding that our safety and security is provided by real people who go into harms way every day and responsibility is giving them what they need so they can better protect themselves as they protect us.

What is next step for you? Do you have any other personal projects in which you are working on?

I am working to get in touch with fire departments and the government to gauge interest and eventually acquire funding to develop a prototype.

What is your dream project?

My dream is to design for and at the extreme edges of the human experience.

Theodore Scoufis
New York, NY, United States
The School of Visual Arts – Products of Design