Design for Good


Locofoco Design Ltd


International Futures Forum (IFF)


Scotland has poorer health than the rest of the UK: 29.2 suicides per 100,000 and 15% higher premature deaths from all causes. Better mental wellbeing is a priority. Designer Shona Maciver of Locofoco developed Kitbag alongside an international team of health professionals for IFF, a registered charity.

Kitbag is a multi-sensory resource designed for children, young people and adults. It helps to develop the mindfulness, resilience, emotional and social awareness we need to deal with today’s uncertain, complex and challenging world. When we own our psychological responses to being stressed, troubled or overwhelmed, we may become less a victim of them.

Kitbag provides a safe space - completely unlike a book or a screen - to undertake this work in any setting. The main elements encourage reflection, calm states of mind, creativity, self-help, dialogue, hope and a higher purpose in life. People work with Kitbag at their own pace and at many levels – physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioural. Through regular use it can help grow empathy for others and provide a natural way to deepen relationships. This makes people better able to deal with the challenges of everyday life. Kitbag encourages reflective dialogue and is recommended, among other things, to help kick-start difficult discussions. It can also be used to introduce a more compassionate, caring and responsible culture into families, schools, teams and organisations.

To get started, each person smells the aromatic Calming Oil. They pick a Presence Card and take a few breaths as they regain contact with their physical selves. They choose a colour from the Feelings Card that describes how they are feeling that day. As they talk, they hold the Talking Stick to signal listening with respect. Egg-timers ensure that everyone gets an equal share of time. When everyone has spoken, each one selects an Animal Card with a value, such as trust, courage or love that they need. Finally they give another person a card, based on what they feel might help them. The Wonder Story, a meditation that comes with its own music, completes a session. Branded elements: typeface Stressful Times, illustrations and first-aid kit were created by Locofoco.

After testing Kitbag was taken up by: schools, Children 1st, a national charity, Tigers Ltd. who work with unemployed young people in Glasgow and researchers at the the University of Sussex.