BESiDE Research, a multi-disciplinary research group based at the Schools of Computing in Universities of Dundee and Newcastle, explored physical activity in care homes. 

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BESiDE research asked how the built environment can facilitate physical ability and wellbeing in care homes?

As Design RA on the project, I worked with residents and staff to create wearables to capture physical activity data. We used co-design methods to create engaging and appropriate ways for care home residents to wear or carry sensors.

Co-design is the process whereby designers and non designers work together to create an object or service that meets and supports the unique needs of its user. Co-design is grounded in the understanding of the real life experiences, ideas and skills of the people, who use, and need products or services (Szebeko & Tan, 2010).

Using bespoke design tools such as mood boards, a picture card deck and soft textile prototypes to prompt ideation and discussion, the design team worked with care home residents and staff members to develop design constraints for wearable artefacts appropriate within a care home setting. This process created wearables with residents’ needs specifically in mind, to promote use and preserve dignity, and ensure ‘wearables’ are comfortable to wear and facilitate good data capture.

More information can be found on the co-design activities here.

Co-design Team: 

Dr Chris Lim (Co-I, DJCAD)

Sara Nevay (RA, DJCAD)