Design and Living Well (Book)

Re:Research, Volume 4

This collection showcases diverse perspectives in design and design research, with topics ranging from the introduction of design in the primary education sector to designing information for artificial intelligence systems. Divided into seven thematic volumes, the Re:Research series maps out where the field of design research is now.

Series: Re:Research


Just as the term design has been going through change, growth and expansion of meaning, and interpretation in practice and education – the same can be said for design research. The traditional boundaries of design are dissolving and connections are being established with other fields at an exponential rate. Based on the proceedings from the IASDR 2017 Conference, Re:Research is an edited collection that showcases a curated selection of 83 papers – just over half of the works presented at the conference. With topics ranging from the introduction of design in the primary education sector to designing information for Artificial Intelligence systems, this book collection demonstrates the diverse perspectives of design and design research. Divided into seven thematic volumes, this collection maps out where the field of design research is now.

Using Frameworks to Cross Interdisciplinary Boundaries: Addressing Wellness
• Traci Rose Rider

Increasing interest is seen at the intersection of architecture and health. The built environment has become associated with a number of negative health outcomes including obesity, cancers and diabetes. Engaging design students in these inquiries surrounding health is integral in preparing them for future practice. This paper reviews the conceptual development and tested implementation of an interdisciplinary course focusing on the well-being and overall health of the occupant, using primary and secondary framework structures in the vein of Groat and Wang’s logical argumentation. The reviewed course engages interdisciplinary teams composed of students from the School of Architecture, the College of Engineering and the College of Natural Resources, with private practice. The course puts forth an effort to break out of the conventional pedagogical structure found in architectural education, primarily the studio and large lecture spaces. The course has been specifically designed to: (1) establish a framework for common content relating to health in the built environment across disciplinary boundaries; (2) build meaningful partnerships between interdisciplinary student groups; and (3) establish a common vocabulary between architectural education and aligned disciplines regarding health and the built environment. The course structure, activities and assessments are reviewed, proposing a solid framework for including integrated design and themes of health in architectural education.

Qualities of Public Health: Toward an Analysis of Aesthetic Features of Public Policies
• Sébastien Proulx, Philippe Gauthier, Yaprak Hamarat

Design is gaining popularity as a way to address complex social problems in various fields of practices. Strangely, public health which, by nature, is concerned by such kinds of problems, remains foreign to this way of thinking. Building on the increasing popularity of design in policy-making, we stress that public health could also benefit from this conceptual yet pragmatic framework. To open a critical perspective about the potential of design for public health, we examine four design projects that address social determinants of health and whose outcomes promote healthy living habits. Finally, we argue that the interest of design for public health lies on its concern for the users’ aesthetic experience emerging of its encounter with the touchpoints that embody health policies. This contribution ought to act as a stepping stone to open a debate about design as offering a critical perspective for the practice and study of public health.

Participatory Design for Behavior Change: An Integrative Approach to Healthcare Quality Improvement
• Fernando Carvalho, Gyuchan Thomas Jun, Val Mitchell

Behavior insights have been extensively applied to public policy and service design. The potential for an expanded use of behavior change to healthcare quality improvement has been underlined in the England’s National Health Service Five-Year Forward View report, in which staff behavior is connected to the quality of care delivered to patients and better clinical practice. Improving the quality of healthcare service delivery involves adopting improvement cycles that are conducted by multiple agents through systematic processes of change and evaluation. Despite the recognition that some of the recurring challenges to improve healthcare services are behavioral in essence, there is insufficient evidence about how behavioral insights can be successfully applied to quality improvement in healthcare. Simultaneously, the discussion on how to better engage participants in intervention design, and how to better enable participation are not seen as fundamental components of behavior change frameworks. This paper presents an integrative approach, stemming from comprehensive literature review and an ongoing case study, in which participatory design is used as the conduit to activate stakeholder engagement in the application of a behavior change framework, aiming to improve the processes of diagnosing and managing urinary tract infection in the emergency department of a hospital in England. Preliminary findings show positive results regarding the combined use of participatory design and behavior change tools in the development of a shared-vision of the challenges in question, and the collaborative establishment of priorities of action, potential solution routes and evaluation strategies.

Development of a Design Competence Model for Learners of Human-Centered Design
• Christi Zuber

Learning a new competence and attempting to perform it within an organization not only takes time, but it is heavily influenced by the real-world context of day-to-day work culture and individual perceptions. The little-understood world of learning Human-Centered Design (HCD) within an organization is studied over 1 year in inside of a group of healthcare organizations through a training and mentoring program called the “Innovation Catalyst Program.” Deep insights and personal narratives are gathered by studying learners and their coaches in real-time observations and conversations. A dynamic story unfolds as those who are learning creative approaches for organizational innovation are coached by those with many years of experience on the topic. These same participants provide feedback on the frameworks generated. The result of this Longitudinal Grounded Theory field study is a new actionable model for understanding experiences and approaches to learning HCD within the context of an organization, a novel approach to assessing development, and ultimately, a way to empower individuals with the mindsets and skillsets of HCD for real-world challenges.


Health Education that Breaks through Language Barriers: Prototyping and Evaluation of Child Care-Related ICT Self-Learning Resource
• Toshinori Anzai, Kazuyo Matsuura, Takanobu Yakubo, Tomoko Mikami, Kouta Uemura

This paper explores the findings of a study into the telecommunications environment in Mongolia. It was hoped that an effective self-learning resource for the prevention of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) in infants for distribution to parents in that country could be created and evaluated using these findings. Based on a field survey conducted in Mongolia, the most effective format this resource should take was identified. A prototype was created that featured video taken from both a third-person and parent’s (first-person) perspective. After further evaluation, this prototype is to undergo revisions that will be assessed in Japan and Mongolia before a final version is distributed utilizing information and communication technologies (ICT). It was found that a visual message that did not rely on written language was the most effective means of communicating the desired message. With input from nursing staff in Mongolia, the Sapporo City University School of Design and School of Nursing came to leverage their respective strengths to create an effective prototype that will be used as the basis for a resource for relaying this preventive information to the target audience.

Empowering the Preschool Children: A Service Platform Design Aiming at the Communication of Balanced Diet Information
• Xing Zhou

Childhood obesity increases the risk of obesity in adulthood and is associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors. The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing in China. It is necessary to develop an intervention project for preschool children. Based on a service design project aiming at the communication of balanced diet information to the preschool children in China, this paper discusses how to take advantage of the digital platform and game-based learning to empower the preschool children. It argues for the importance of the DIKW hierarchy for empowerment. It also proposes an innovative model to involve new stakeholders into the whole system and to improve the viability of the project.

Snack Food Package Design: Exploratory Study on Children’s Snack Choices and Design Elements
- Sunghyun R. Kang, Debra Satterfield, Nora Ladjahasan

Packaging is an essential element of design for both consumers and businesses. Product packaging functions both as a communication tool for product information and for brand messages. In addition, the role of visual elements and messages on snack packages are not well understood. This is particularly true from the standpoint of influencing the selection of snack food in children, even though there has been growth in the economic power of children as a consumer group. Therefore, this study examines: (1) the role of design variables such as typography, images and the stylistic combination of these visual elements in affecting children’s snack food selection; (2) the role of health messages on children’s snack food selections; and (3) the role of perceived “healthiness” in influencing children’s snack food selections. Digitally simulated snack package images were created and sixty children ages 9–13 were recruited for this study. From these design variables, “preferred-selections” and “perceived healthy-selection” of children in this age group were identified.

Breaking through Fuzzy Positioning: Diverse Design Communication Strategies for Older Adults’ Healthcare Wearables
- Chen Li, Chang-Franw Lee

In this study, based on the perception of older adults, fuzzy positioning of healthcare wearables and impacts of differentiated product positioning on human considerations and design communication strategies are studied. Empirical researches are performed by adopting both quantitative research (248 questionnaires for clustering and regression analysis) and qualitative research (15 cases for in-depth interview). The perceptions of older adults on product positioning are divided into three types: Tech-Aid, Fash-Acc and Fash-Tech. Results indicate that the influential human considerations for each positioning were different from each other. Through coding and storyline analysis, diverse communication strategies are found for each positioning. The outcomes for each type are as follows. For Tech-Aid, wherein older adults lay emphasis on usefulness, ease of use and privacy, the designers can adopt a calm communication strategy by giving priority to older adults’ control power, fitting symptoms, user-friendly and cautious interconnection. For Fash-Acc, wherein older adults focus on personal image, aesthetic appearance and ease of use, an active communication strategy for modeling a style for elderly fashion that agrees with aesthetic appreciation and simplified operation can be adopted. For Fash-Tech, wherein older adults require to integrate usefulness, ease of use, aesthetic appearance, comfort, privacy and self-image, a persuasive communication strategy can be used, through which designers can offer older adults more data insights and entertainment, along with data association, and in the meantime, reduce data interferences and pay attention to style modality and appropriate display with context fusion and contact comfort.

Developing Design Criteria for iPad Stands to Meet the Needs of Older Adults in Group Settings
• Sonja Pedell, Jeanie Beh, Gianni Renda, Emily Wright

This paper details the evaluation process undertaken to create criteria for the development of an iPad stand for elderly users. Emphasis is on the requirements elicitation stage with end users in the field. Thirty-two elderly participants taking part in the activity group as part of the Ageing-Well program of a City Council in a cosmopolitan area in Australia were part of an evaluation in which three existing iPad stands were trialed. While commercially available stands are abundant, specific problems such as reduced grip, basic technical understanding of the stand, and concerns surrounding stability were encountered within the group. Observation and semistructured interviews were undertaken with the cohort to determine factors surrounding the suitability and uptake of these stands by elderly users – most of them with some disabilities – with findings suggesting that current tablet stands require fine levels of dexterity, which may not be appropriate for elderly users where such a device is needed. While usability in setting up the stand and use is a strong factor, aesthetics and material qualities are equally important for enjoyable use. In addition, the use of iPads in social activities between two or more older adults has specific demands in terms of visibility of screen, sturdiness and easy movement that is not considered by current tablet stands. The paper ends with proposing design recommendations. Further research is required to develop a suitable solution and refines these.

Innovative Handle Design and Evaluation of Woks for Middle-Aged and Elderly People
• Fong-Gong Wu, Yu-Chi Lin, Hsiao-Han Sun

With the enhancement of medical technology and human living standards, the world is showing a trajectory toward an aging society. The elders generally suffer from degeneration, which may cause problems in their daily lives. Aging has since become a major issue of scientific researches. Elders in Taiwan mostly live alone or with a partner. Because eating out is not a habit, cooking often plays an important role in their lives. Due to the degeneration happening to their bodies, the danger during cooking activities increases. Therefore, it is necessary for them to seek help from assistive devices. In this research, we will make assistive design models that help elders use woks. The designs are for the task we have chosen from our investigation. We will also evaluate the effect of the aids objectively using the EMG system, and collect the iEMG value for evaluation. The iEMG values were collected from four muscles (FDC, FCR, biceps and deltoids). Eight middle-aged participants who will become elders in the near future were invited to participate in the experiment. Four design solutions were chosen from seven working models. The design solutions were all helpful to the task, and the performances of the stove design solutions are significantly better than the original wok. The degrees of hand trembling while performing tasks were also measured; however, the differences were not significant.

Designing with and for People with Dementia: Developing a Mindful Interdisciplinary Co-Design Methodology
• Kristina Niedderer, Isabelle Tournier, Donna Maria Coleston-Shields, Michael Craven, Julie Gosling, Julia A. Garde, Ben Salter, Michaelle Bosse, Ingeborg Griffioen

This paper reports on the development of a mindful interdisciplinary design methodology in the context of the MinD project research into designing for and with people with dementia, which takes the particular focus on supporting the subjective well-being and self-empowerment of people with early to mid-stage dementia in social context. Existing research is for the most part focused on functional support and safe-keeping from the perspective of the carer. References to decision-making and empowerment are predominantly related to action planning for dementia care or advance care planning. References to care and social interaction show that caregivers tend to take a deficit-oriented perspective, and occupation of people with dementia is often associated with doing “something” with little focus on the meaningfulness of the activity. Furthermore, caregivers and people with dementia tend to differ in their perspectives, e.g. on assistive devices, which might offer support. The MinD project, has therefore developed an interdisciplinary co-design methodology in which the voices to people with dementia contribute to better understanding and developing mindful design solutions that support people with dementia with regard to their the subjective well-being and self-empowerment a well as meaningful and equitable social engagement. This paper discussed the design methodological framework and methods developed for the data collection and design development phases of the project, and their rationale. It thus makes a contribution to interdisciplinary methodologies in the area of design for health.

Assessing a Rehabilitation Living Lab Research Project: The Meta-Analysis of an Inclusive Environment for People with Disabilities
• Tiiu Poldma, Sylvain Bertin, Sara Ahmed, Guylaine Le Dorze, Keiko Shikako-Thomas

This paper presents the results of a research based Living Lab experience, where people participate together as users, researchers, stakeholders and collaborators working to effect change to improve social inclusion and social participation for persons with functional difficulties. The Rehabilitation Living Lab in the Mall (RehabMall) transforms an urban shopping mall into an interdisciplinary, multi-sectorial research platform that supports multiple projects investigating what constitutes an accessible and inclusive environment for people with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities. We present an overview of the RehabMALL Living Lab, the contexts of the project and the project meta-analysis to present the salient issues emerging from the projects that were done. Grounded in a design research approach, and inspired by the Ecological Systems Theory of Bronfenbrenner (1979), the investigations conducted focus on subjective and inter-subjective experiences within understanding obstacles and facilitators that frame how people experience going to the mall, and how the physical, cognitive and virtual environments that support these activities might be better served. Disability is defined within the framework of the “World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning.” The overview of the project is presented with particular attention to the various collaborations and partnerships created alongside the issues that emerge in terms of results, and how people might be better served when public spaces are designed with their input and within a perspective of universal design.


Gjoko Muratovski is the founding editor of the Journal of Design, Business & Society and director of the Myron E. Ullman Jr. School of Design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). He is the editor of Consumer Culture: Selected Essays and three volumes of Design for Business, and co-editor of Global Fashion Brands: Style, Luxury and History, all also published by Intellect Books.

Craig Vogel is associate dean for graduate studies and research at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and professor at the Myron E. Ullman Jr. School of Design.

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