Selected Projects / Vancouver Coastal Health — Zeitgeist Program + Research Study

Zeitgeist Program + Research Study— A Storytelling Project With Residents and Student Designers

To build on our Zeitgeist Pilot Program from Spring 2018, we ran the project again this Fall with 18 new students from Jon Hannan’s 3rd year communication course & 14 residents at a local care home. This time around, we collaborated with Alison Phinney from the School of Nursing at UBC, to conduct an overlaying research study that assesses the impact of the Zeitgeist program on residents’ wellbeing, staff’s capacity to provide care, as well as students’ learning.

The Zeitgeist Program itself consisted of six sessions over the course of a single school term, where students and residents were split into 5 groups (4-5 students and 2-3 residents per group) to co-design and co-write a publication together:

  • Session one: A getting to know you activity led by the care home, to allow residents and students to get acquainted.
  • Session two: A reciprocal getting to know you activity led by communication design students.
  • Session three: Initial content gathering activity, led by students
  • Session four: Secondary content gathering session, led by students
  • Session five: Content review and final text edits, with residents
  • Session six: Final reveal

The Zeitgeist Program Research Study consisted of research assistants conducting resident and staff pre-/post-program interviews, student pre-/post-program surveys, and observations of residents’ well-being during the program sessions. The goal of running the program and research study simultaneously has been to optimize the operationalization of the current program structure and format, as well as gather insights for how this type of program could be expanded in the broader context in BC, nationally and internationally.

For session-to-session recap, see our Zeitgeist Journal Entries


Project Leads: Jon Hannan, Caylee Raber

Design Students: Students from Jon Hannan’s 3rd year communication design course

Research Assistants: Srushti Kulkarni, Amen Salami, Garima Sood & Emily Ellis

Project Coordinator: Nadia Beyzaei

Partners: Alison Phinney (School of Nursing, UBC), Donna Levi (Recreation Therapist, VCH)

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