Tactile co-design tools to engage participation in the older adults' space

Presenter: Dr Leah Heiss and Dr Marius Foley, RMIT University

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About the presentation

In this talk Leah and Marius will discuss the collaborative work they have undertaken this year with NARI and the North Western Melbourne PHN in the older adults' space. The collaboration involved 30+ Master of Design Futures scholars developing human centred design projects in the older adults' space. A particular area of enquiry was on the role of tactile co-design tools and approaches to learn more about people in this demographic. Scholars created design works and engagement approaches to provide insights into the lived experience of ageing communities. The project engaged all stakeholders to explore how design can help our elderly populations to navigate the complexity of the healthcare system.

About the presenter

Dr Leah Heiss is an award-winning designer, CSIRO visiting designer/scientist and Co-director of the RMIT Wearables and Sensing Network. She leads healthcare-partnered Future Design Practice in the RMIT Master of Design Futures. Through collaborative projects Leah has brought human centred design to technologies for hearing loss, diabetes and pre-diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gut disease and loneliness. Her wearable technologies include jewellery to administer insulin, cardiac monitoring jewellery, swallowable devices to detect disease and emergency jewellery for times of medical crisis. Her current work investigates the use of stretchable sensors for heart health, pre-diabetes, and aged care COVID monitoring. Leah's Tactile Tools design thinking approach has been used by over 250 people in diverse sectors to iteratively address complex challenges including end of life experience, acquired brain injury, low birth weight and voluntary assisted dying.    

Dr Marius Foley is the Program Manager of the Master of Design Futures (MDF) in the RMIT School of Design. The MDF is grounded in the principles of human centred design and the various practices that are emerging, such as Service, Strategic, Transdisciplinary and Transition Design. Marius has an interest in what design brings to leadership in contemporary, networked and multi-disciplinary situations. His research centres on co-creative and collaborative practices, innovation and the influence of human centred design across diverse sectors, including design education; design engagements with aged care; and design and media innovation, especially in rural and remote communities.

Further information: [email protected]

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