Around the world in 100 days with Lab4Living

Lab4Living projects map Spring 2019

The Easter break has given the Lab4Living team time to reflect on the year so far, and the opportunities our team have been able to explore. From Dundee to Plymouth, from Bristol to Bangor, and many places in between, we’ve been lucky enough to work with partners across the length and breadth of the UK. Internationally, too, the team have been making connections in Japan, Milan, Malta, The Netherlands, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Lab4Living is a multidisciplinary research group within the Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute (C3RI), with a focus on bringing Design-led research to fields of health and wellbeing. Our work spans a range of health contexts across the entire life course, and is characterised by the use of creating and making. These effective, empowering approaches include those affected by the research outcomes in the knowledge creation process, as a route to greater impact.

Narcolepsy Family day Spring 2019

Narcolepsy Family day Spring 2019

Our team has a range of active research projects in the contexts of Parkinson’s Disease, children’s prosthetics, dementia, dentistry, long-term neurological conditions, paediatric Narcolepsy, urinary tract infections, ageing in place and paediatric incontinence, as well as exploring knowledge mobilisation and embedded research in healthcare. Our project partners are varied also, from children and families to patients, care home residents, front line NHS staff and government policy makers.

Lab4Living Parkinson's service workshop

Lab4Living Parkinson’s service workshop

For example, so far this year we have facilitated multi-stakeholder co-design workshops exploring and enhancing Parkinson’s Disease service provision in Plymouth and the South West Peninsula (including people living with Parkinson’s Disease, doctors, nurses and representatives from Parkinson’s UK).

Starworks celebration event

Starworks celebration event, live illustrated by Lab4Living PhD student Smizz

We ran a workshop at the European Academy of Design 2019 conference, with our partners from Good Health Design (Auckland), to share methods of fostering collaboration between teams from Healthcare and Design.

In New Delhi, India, we have been looking at using local materials to build hydroponics systems in schools that are enabled through play.

This year’s activities have been eclectic, but what connects them all is a participatory approach that aims to involve people in research in ways that best empower them, inclusive of their physical, emotional, social or cultural position. We believe Design has a crucial role to play in bringing diverse stakeholder groups together to reflect and share their thoughts, experiences, needs and ideas. As well as exploring what we mean by health and wellbeing today, this Design-led approach allows us to co-create new solutions and how they might be implemented successfully into real-world, complex healthcare contexts.

With many thanks to all of the people and places we have visited so far this year, including:

The European Academy of Design Conference, Dundee;   UK Knowledge Mobilisation Forum, Newcastle;   Trent International Prosthetics Conference, Salford;   Function First partners: Bangor University, University of Liverpool & Cardiff University;   Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust;   Devices for Dignity, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals;   Welsh Government, Cardiff;   All Wales Dental Faculty, Llandudno and Bangor;   The Starworks Network;   North Bristol NHS Trust, University of Bristol, University of West of England, University of Oxford, & NIHR Oxford Diagnostic Evidence Cooperative;   Embedded Researcher Network partners: St Andrew’s University & University College London;   Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Westfield Health, & The University of Sheffield;   Parkinson’s Service partners: University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, Cure Parkinson’s Trust, Flourish Workplace, Global Kinetics Corporation, Parkinson’s UK, Fre-est, Radboud University, South West Academic Health Science Network, UCB Pharma Ltd;   Marie Curie, London;   Alzheimer Scotland, Edinburgh;   NHS Aberdeenshire;   NHS Fife;   OpenLab, Newcastle;   NESTORE partners: Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan), AGE – Age Platform Europe AISBL, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italian National Research Council), EURECAT – Fundacio Eurecat, FLEX – Flextronics Design S.R.L, FSIE – Fundacio Salut i Envelliment;   WAAG-CARE & The University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam;   New Delhi;   The University of Tokyo, Japan;   the NESTORE project partners, Milan, and Good Health Design, Auckland.

We look forward to seeing what the rest of 2019 brings!

Dr Gemma Wheeler, Design Researcher, Lab4Living


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