December 11, 2018

Zeitgeist Program — Fall 2018 Journal

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Our Zeitgeist Journey

Over this past term, The Health Design Lab partnered with Jon Hannan’s 3rd year communication design students, residents at a local care home and a recreation therapist, to bring design students + residents together, to co-design publications in what we’re calling The Zeitgeist Program.

We first piloted this program in Spring 2018 and this school year we’ve added a research layer that aims to evaluate the impact of the program on students’ learning, residents’ well-being and care home staff’s capacity to provide care.

To track our journey this fall, we have recapped the six sessions in a series of journal entries — Take a look!

Session One: Getting to Know You Activity — Part 1

OCTOBER 15, 2018


We had our first #ZeitgeistProgram session of the semester this week where Jon Hannan’s 3rd year communication design  students and residents from our partner care home met for the first time. Residents and students were organized into 5 groups (consisting of 2–3 residents and 3–4 design students) and talked through a list of 17 questions prepared by the care home recreation therapist — “Where were you born?”, “If someone were to play you in a movie, who would it be”, “What does success mean to you?” were some of the questions asked.  Next week, students will be back with an activity designed for their group of residents!

Session Two: Getting to Know You Activity — Part 2

OCTOBER 22, 2018


Today, @emilycarru communication design students met with their group of residents for #SessionTwo of this term’s #ZeitgeistProgram. Students were excited to test out the ‘getting to know you’ activities they spent this week designing— From a spin on charades to leap frog and word mapping, each group had it’s own unique and personalized concept.

Session Three: Content Gathering — Part 1

OCTOBER 29, 2018


This week, design students involved in our #ZeitgeistProgram met with residents on their individual floors (instead of the care home garden room) to gather content for their final publications. This last-minute change posed some logistical challenges, but also highlighted the importance of flexibility in community-based projects, where older adults with fluctuating health statuses are involved. As a pleasant surprise, the location change drew in other residents at the care home to drop by and listen in on all four floors of action that made up #SessionThree: scrapbooking, drawing, painting, heartfelt stories, andobservational research — they saw it all!

Session Four: Content Gathering — Part 2

NOVEMBER 5, 2018


We are past the halfway point for this term’s #ZeitgeistProgram. Today, @emilycarru students were on day-two of content gathering and worked collaboratively with their group of residents to collect information in ways that fit their needs and sparked their interest. In parallel, HDL research assistants diligently observed residents’ wellbeing over the full hour-long session, reflecting on trends they observed across all sessions as well as individual days

Session Five: Content Review

NOVEMBER 19, 2018


This was the first time students brought their printed publication drafts to show their residents. In preparation, students sifting though all the content they gathered from the previous 4 sessions to hone in on themes and stories that emerged in their resident groups — from body part illustrations to full page spreads of typed anecdotes, the direction of each publication was uniquely customized. Throughout the session, students eagerly listened to the detailed feedback of their residents as they knew this was the last interaction they would have before the final publication reveal only two weeks away!

Session Six: Publication Reveal

DECEMBER 4, 2018


It’s finally time for #SessionSix — the last day! @emilycarru students from Jon Hannan’s class walked into the session with 40 copies of their final publications and a sense of relief that they ‘made it’! As students shared their work for the first time, the nervous excitement in the room shifted to warm smiles and a feeling of connectedness. Each of the 5 groups in the #ZeitgeistProgram shared a few highlights from their publications & reflected on their time together this fall, including the new memories that were made!

In Spring 2018, we are partnering with another local came home. There will be a new set of residents and new cycle of communication design students! For more updates, follow us on Instagram

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