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Future Self and Design Living Lab

Enabling and engaging older adults with innovative co-created solutions

Benefits of a Living Lab

Living Labs bring together researchers, government, business and end-users to co-create innovative solutions to real world problems. Living Labs are impact-focused innovation hubs. Their methods facilitate end-user involvement. In this specific case, we are involving elderly people, their carers and other stakeholders in real life settings, such as aged-care facilities, community meeting places and homes, in order to give them a strong voice in the design process and in the co-creation. These solutions can be services, products or social innovations. The Living Lab approach builds on the CDI’s and our partners’ practices of co-creative and sustainable innovation processes since 2013. The Living Lab is an opportunity to bring together stakeholders in a longer term initiative. The CDI has been a member of ENoLL (the proxy global network for living labs) since 2016.

The Future Self and Design Living Lab

In 2014 Swinburne University participated in a pilot project for the proposed Financial Resilience CRC, attended and presented at the global ENoLL conference in Amsterdam. The experience strengthened the commitment to develop a Living Lab and to apply to ENoLL. The Centre for Design Innovation (CDI) at Swinburne University of Technology is preparing to host and develop the Future Self and Design Living Lab with a focus on the provision of solutions for the health and wellbeing of older adults.

Targeting design for an ageing population, the Future Self and Design Living Lab has four core areas: the re-design of the home to accommodate the future self and the design of wearables and devices to improve our quality of life as we age. Key researchers are A/Prof Sonja Pedell, Professor Emeritus Leon Sterling, A/Prof Blair Kuys, Dr Flavia Marcello, Dr Naseem Ahmadpour and Dr Alen Keirnan.

In collaboration with aged-care providers, community and government organisations, a reference group of end users and businesses, the research group is exploring the integration of emotion into socio-technical systems to support older adults in their everyday lives. The research considers technology use in the context of people’s emotions, personal interests, social connections and living situations. Projects include novel personal alarm systems and wellbeing checks for the home, touch screen collaborative music for older people affected by dementia, engaging older adults in activity groups through technology (iPods, humanoid robots and touch screen technology), iPad apps for English language retention in older migrants, fall prevention and communication technology for those with age-related blindness.

A Living Lab cannot operate without bringing together the right stakeholders. Our Living Lab partners are Boroondara Council, Access Health and Community, COTA (Council of the Ageing), Twin Parks Aged Care, Semantics, Seniorpreneurs, Leef, and LanewayLabs

Other collaborators are: Villa Maria, Peninsula Health, Wyndham City Council.


Our Future Self and Design Living Lab (ENoLL membership 10th wave 2016) is proud to be a founding member of ALLIN:

Australian Living Labs Innovation Network


VIDEO  LINK (Complexity of Fall Prevention):

VIDEO LINK (Animated Scenarios Personal Alarm Systems):


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Dr. Sonja Pedell

Assoc. Professor, Director - Future Self and Design Living Lab, & Interaction Design for the Ageing  Sonja Pedell is an Associate...

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Dr. Flavia Marcello

Associate Professor Flavia Marcello comes to Swinburne after a varied teaching career at Deakin and Melbourne Universities and Temple...

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Dr. Michael Lo Bianco

Michael Lo Bianco is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Centre for Design Innovation’s Future Self Living Lab and a...

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Dr. Nicole Aimers

CDI Post Doctoral Fellow With expertise in health design and psychology, Dr Aimers is an integral part of the Future-Self and Design Living Lab...

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Emeritus Prof. Leon Sterling

Emeritus Prof. Sterling's career in research has been one of diversity, starting with a PhD in Pure Mathematics before branching out into software...

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