BC Rehabilitation and Recovery Summit and Roadmap Development
Heart + Stroke Foundation
How might we co-create a roadmap for improving the current rehabilitation and recovery services for people with stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury in British Columbia?
Through a collaboration with the Heart + Stroke Foundation and a project steering committee of community organizations, the Health Design Lab is involved in organizing a multi-phase approach to a Rehabilitation + Recovery Summit, with the aim of developing of a Roadmap for improving services for people living with stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury after they leave the hospital setting. Given that a patchwork of services and programs currently exist, this project seeks to identify how to build a more integrated system to better support individuals in their rehabilitation and recovery journey.
In the initial phase of this project, the Health Design Lab is co-facilitating a series of virtual design-led community engagement workshops with people with lived experience and separately with professionals and research involved in their care. The first round of workshops will focus on conversations around current needs and services, with the second round engaging participants in conversations about how they would envision a future system that would better meet those needs.
Through an in-depth synthesis of the information gathered over 12 workshops, the project team will identify themes and insights that will inform the direction of a larger Rehabilitation + Recovery Summit and create the foundation and further support for how to approach the development of a provincial strategy.
Blair Muxiang Yu
Decolonizing the Health Care System Through Cultural Connections
College of New Caledonia
How can we deconstruct racism in healthcare by exploring a community-based model for cultural safety education that utilizes 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?
Challenging Stigma Through Storytelling
BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services
How might we amplify the voices of people with lived experience of mental health, substance use and the criminal justice system to reduce stigma and improve current services?
Through a collaboration with BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS), the Health Design Lab is involved in two projects which aim to challenge stigma through storytelling. The first involves the creation of a three-part animated video series and the second is a journey mapping project that engages BCMHSUS clients who are currently accessing services.
The video project engaged BCMHSUS staff and people with lived experience and brings you along a journey into the stories of people who bravely share how stigma in the healthcare system has impacted their lives, what has helped bridge these gaps, and what their hopes are for the future. These videos are a part of the Understanding Each Other Together (UNITE) Project: a journey into our experiences of stigma to celebrate diversity and create change, led by BCMHSUS.
The videos are intended to be a way for people to learn about the realities of mental health, substance use, and criminalization — highlighting the voices of real people as an approach to shift conversations, build awareness, and shed light on the stories of individuals with lived experience. Watch Videos
The Journey Mapping project is aimed at listening to, understanding, and collecting the experiences of clients who are undergoing treatment at a BCMHSUS facility. Through a series of co-design workshops, the project team collected feedback about current BCMHSUS services at the facility, to improve clients’ treatment experiences.
This project creates an opportunity for BCMHSUS clients to participate in a creative and collaborative process through in-person, group activities with design students and a peer facilitator with lived experience of mental health challenges and trauma. Together, the goal is to collectively create a space where participation in creative brainstorming and sharing activities may happen openly and collaboratively.
The project report & journey map will serve to locate and understand the existing strengths, gaps, and areas in need of improvement within programming and services offered through BCMHSUS and inform the direction of future quality improvement initiatives.
Yutaan Kito Lin
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.
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.
Read more about the latest Perspectives program here.
Collaborate, Gather, Share
Alzheimers Society BC
How might we make research spaces more dementia-friendly so that they foster meaningful collaboration and inclusion of people with dementia?
Collaborate, Gather & Share aims to fosters interdisciplinary and collaborative capacity in dementia research projects in order to transition from a culture of participation to collaboration. Our intention is to drive self-reflection amongst initiators and leaders of dementia related research projects to develop research practice that are grounded in collaboration and recognize people with lived experiences as experts.
University of British Columbia
Canadian Institute for Health Research
Raccoopack Studios Inc.
How might we engage staff, residents and people with lived experience in the design of digital applications and new technologies?
What Matters aims to create an app that can be used in long-term care and hospital settings to comfort patients and residents with dementia during times of distress. The Health Design Lab is leading the user experience research portion of the project, through virtual workshops with people with dementia, carers and staff.
Read more about the project here.
Precision Mental Health
Simon Fraser University
How can we better understand mental health priorities for older adults?
Precision Mental Health aims to disrupt traditional psychiatric approaches to mental health, by using Big Data resources focusing on older Canadians, to predict the degree to which individuals are vulnerable to poor mental health. In partnership with Simon Fraser University, The Health Design Lab will be running a series interactions with older adults in order to bring forward themes which reflect their mental health priorities. The themes and priorities set through these interactions will direct the SFU AI in such a way that it will respond to the lived experiences of aging adults.
Read more about the project here.
Dementia Lab Conference 2021: Supporting Ability
LUCA School of Arts
Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council
Vancouver Coastal Health
Alzheimers Society 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.
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.
- 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 the 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.
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
Connecting the Autism Community Through Design
Pacific Autism Family Network Foundation
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.
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.