Projects

Come Alive: Shifting the Culture of Care in Long-term Care Homes

Vancouver Coastal Health

How can we shift the culture of care by uplifting the perspectives of people living in care homes, creating space for them to shape the future of their care?

Working collaboratively with people living in care homes, their families and staff, we have been co-facilitating the Come Alive culture change initiative with Vancouver Coastal Health through an emergent and collaborative process since 2018. This initiative explores ways in which participatory design methods can amplify the voices of people in care and their loved ones, in order to drive organizational change.

This project began by bringing to light the rich stories, experiences and aspirations of people living in long term care. Through co-creative workshops, people in care homes were reconnected with their personal histories, current lived experiences and their desires for their future. The synthesis of these narratives and insights iteratively shaped the Vancouver Coastal Health strategy for culture change. This video, created by HDL, amplifies the voices we heard from within the care homes. Watch the video here.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to long-term care, dramatically impacting visitation and socialization within care homes – therefore our collaboration has shifted to address this immediate challenge. Our team has been working to support this community by creating an avenue for families to generate and share ideas about how to connect with loved ones living in care homes. Learn more, here.

project team

Vannysha Chang

Morgan Martino

Ajra Doobenen

Laura Escueta

Eliza Rose

Garima Sood

Jean Chisholm

Nandita Ratan

Caylee Raber

Lisa Boulton

Nadia Beyzaei

Decolonizing the Health Care System Through Cultural Connections

Vancouver Foundation

How can we deconstruct racism in healthcare by exploring a community-based model for cultural safety education that utilizing material practice as a tool for dialogue?

Cultural Connections explores how Indigenous-led arts and material practice workshops can foster open dialogue between non-Indigenous healthcare students and Indigenous community members in the Lheidli T’enneh and surrounding areas (Prince George, BC)

The goal of the project is to develop an Indigenous-led model for cultural safety and humility training that leads to fundamental changes in healthcare providers’ understanding of Indigenous perspectives on health; results in positive changes in healthcare experiences for Indigenous people; and can be scaled and adapted to the unique needs of Indigenous communities across BC.

The team on this project is composed of Indigenous leaders from the Aboriginal Gathering Place (AGP) at ECUAD and the College of New Caledonia (CNC), designers from HDL, external consultants working in healthcare and community planning, and Indigenous artists. The project is currently in progress, having completed the first of four pilot workshops, funded by the Vancouver Foundation, Systems Change grant. 

Preliminary insights and lessons are shared here as we consider: Where do synergies exist between Indigenous and Designerly ways of knowing, and how can we build impactful relationships and collaborations?

project team

Marlene Erickson

Brenda Crabtree

Connie Watts

Caylee Raber

Jessica Erickson

Nadia Beyzaei

Nicole Preissl

Lara Therrien Boulous

Sari Raber

Andrew Siu

Dementia Lab Conference 2021: Supporting Ability

LUCA School of Arts

Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council

Vancouver Coastal Health

Alzheimer’s Society of BC

Dementia Lab is a design-oriented conference that emphasizes how participatory approaches to research can support people living with Dementia (PLWD). As the 2021 hosts of the conference, HDL has been exploring ways in which the design of the conference itself, and the featured workshops and talks, can support, uncover and enhance the abilities of people with dementia. The conference will be held online from January 18-28, 2021.

People living with dementia, designers, researchers and health professionals from around the world are invited to join us for a series of talks, workshops and performances. See dementialabconfernece.com for more details.

project team

Tyler Hawkins

Garima Sood

Paulina Malcolm

Caylee Raber

Jon Hannan

Lisa Boulton

Nadia Beyzaei

Perspectives Program: Storytelling through Co-design with People Living in Long-Term Care

Vancouver Coastal Health

Centre for Aging & Brain Health Innovation

How might we leverage existing resources in the community to create meaningful opportunities for engagement and storytelling for people living in long-term care?

Perspectives is a course-based program at Emily Carr, which brings together design students with people living in long-term care for intergenerational exchange and storytelling. The program takes place over a 12 week semester and includes six, one-hour sessions involving small groups of students and people living in care sharing stories together, leading to the production of printed booklets featuring those stories. 

The purpose of Perspectives is to create an infrastructure for meaningful intergenerational exchange and social interaction between students, people living in care, their families and care home staff through both the story gathering process and the process of distributing their stories in final, printed publications. 

This program gives voice to people living in care homes, providing an opportunity for creative and emotional expression, stimulation of positive memories and the engagement in a unique and meaningful activity that can reopen their stories, while acknowledging their value and what they can contribute. Simultaneously, it offers students learning opportunities in storytelling, co-design and participatory design research.In an effort to scale this approach, encouraging other communities to participate, we have created a program ‘How-to-Guide’, available here.

project team

Srushti Kulkarni

Amen Salami

Garima Sood

Mariko Sakamoto

Paulina Malcolm

Jon Hannan

Caylee Raber

Nadia Beyzaei

Emily Ellis

Community-Based Co-Design Curriculum

Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School

Vancouver Coastal Health

Disability Alliance BC

How can we collaborate with community, while introducing design students to participatory design approaches?

One goal of the Health Design Lab is to provide opportunities for Emily Carr students to gain participatory design skills and experience necessary to work in health and community contexts.

To that end, the Health Design Lab collaborates with the Faculty of Design and Dynamic media in the development and leadership of several community-based co-design projects that provide students with experiential learning opportunities to apply participatory design methods taught to them, in collaborative projects with community members. 

current classes

  • Co-design between elementary school children with learning differences and 2nd year Industrial design students (10+ year partnership with Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School)
  • Co-design between people living in long-term care homes and 3rd year  design students (3+ year partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health)
  • Co-design between people living with disabilities and 3rd year communication design students (2+ year partnership with Disability Alliance of BC)

Avenues of Change: Engaging Families in Squamish

United Way of Lower Mainland

How can we learn from families living in Squamish about their needs and priorities for investment to support early childhood development? 

How can we ensure that the voices of Indigenous Families are heard?

Avenues of Change is a multi-year, multi-phase project funded and guided by United Way of Lower Mainland that focuses on supporting early childhood development within communities. In 2018, the Health Design Lab and the Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia (SPARC BC) were co-contracted to lead family and stakeholder engagement sessions in Squamish, BC, to identify the needs of families with children 0-6 years of age.

The Health Design Lab was primarily responsible for engaging directly with families to uncover opportunities for improvement. From the onset of the project, it became apparent that the biggest challenge would be connecting with families to participate — in particular creating a space for Indigenous families to feel respected and invited as key contributors. Ultimately, we were able to work closely with Squamish Nation’s community leaders to arrange a series of activities including an Indigenous-led Talking Circle, co-design activities and a Blanket Ceremony. This phase of work resulted in a series of action strategies for how local organizations could address systemic challenges facing families in Squamish, and taught us a lot about collaborating with Indigenous communities as designers. More about our learning can be read here.  

project team

Nicole Preissl

Caylee Raber

Sarah Hay

Nadia Beyzaei

A New Vision for Care

BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre

How can we identify and support the care needs of women beyond pre-/post-partum care?

In 2018, BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre reached out to HDL with an interest in learning more about the needs of women 45 years and above, recognizing that most of their core services are focused on pre-/post-partum care, but women’s health needs extend well beyond that phase of life. HDL Collaborated with BCW to lead a participatory design process, to gather insights from over 1000+ survey respondents as well as 50+ workshop participants including women within this stage of life and a diverse range of care providers to build a rich understanding of the health needs of women in BC aged 45–70.

Utilizing a range of creative strategies including collage, card sorting, role play, video and mapping, we heard from women a need for:

  • Education on what to expect at this stage in life to support preventative self-care and monitoring
  • Routine comprehensive wellness assessments to help women and care providers establish and navigate an appropriate care plan
  • A centre that helps with referrals for specialized women-centered care

project team

Eugenie Cheon

Katie Macdonald

Caylee Raber

Nadia Beyzaei

Connecting the Autism Community Through Design

Pacific Autism Family Network Foundation

AIDE

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research

University of Victoria, BC Institute of Technology

BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute

How can families better connect to research, services and resources within the Autism community?

The Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) is a centre and network of support for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families across British Columbia. Their vision includes the creation of an environment where autism researchers and clinicians can come together to bring current, evidence-led best practices to families and adults living with ASDs. In this spirit, the Health Design Lab at Emily Carr University of Art + Design has been collaborating with the Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) since 2015 to gain a better understanding of the communication challenges and research needs of families in the B.C. ASD community through participatory design research and co-design.

This collaboration has undergone four distinct phases, each of which has illustrated different ways in which designers can support and facilitate social innovation. Beginning in 2015, the Health Design Lab first collaborated with PAFN in an exploratory research phase to understand family needs in relation to Autism research.  In 2016, we moved towards a more generative research phase, using co-creation workshops to facilitate dialogue and ideation between families and researchers to address the gap in knowledge exchange identified in phase one. In 2017 we transitioned into a more concrete co-design phase to conceptualize a web-platform design that would address the needs of families uncovered through the initial phases of work. Finally, in 2019, these insights were utilized to inform the website development and branding of AIDE, a national knowledge website which is now live here.

project team

Stacie Schatz

Tyler Hawkins

Mike Severloh

Ateret Buchman

Natalia Franca

Zora Trocme

Amanda Roy

Dina Smallman

Juliana Forero

Lauren Low

Rachelle Lortie

Caylee Raber

Jonathan Aitken

Deborah Shackleton

Nadia Beyzaei

The First Five: St Paul’s Hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital Redevelopment Team

How can we imagine the patient and visitor experience for the new hospital?

In 2017-2018 HDL collaborated with the St. Paul’s Hospital redevelopment team, to further explore and consider the patient and visitor experience upon entry into the new hospital. Titled “The First Five”, the focus of this project was on the first 5 minutes, the first 5 user needs and the first 5 actions upon entry. This project explored questions such as: What will be the emotional state of people as they enter the facility and how can this be considered in the design of the space and services delivered? How can we create an entrance space that is empathetic, community-centered and supportive?

The HDL team used a human-centered design approach, to observe, listen and generate insights for the new entrance. Beginning with site visits and ethnographic observations at facilities across the Lower Mainland, our findings informed the development of a set of personas and co-design activities specific to the St. Paul’s Redevelopment project and local community. Utilizing these tools HDL led three community co-design workshops in order to gain insights and recommendations directly from past patients and visitors.

Through a participatory design process and community engagement, this project resulted in a series of ideas and recommendations for the St. Paul’s Redevelopment Team and the future architectural team.

project team

Eugenie Cheon

Steph Koenig

Emi Webb

Caylee Raber

Nadia Beyzaei

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