Health Design Lab Newsletter 

At the lab, we are currently working on six projects — including collaborations with Vancouver Coastal Health, BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, BC Centre for Disease Control, and Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School. From communication design projects integrated into curriculum, to system-based participatory design projects that aim to shift the culture of care, the Health Design Lab is involved in a diverse range of projects. 

Featured Collaboration

Learning Through Collaborative Design & Material Exploration: Celebrating 9 Years of Partnership with Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School

Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD) has been collaborating with Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School (KGMS), an alternative K-7 elementary school, for almost a decade.

KGMS has an innovative educational approach that values the unique learning styles of students with learning differences — differences that affect skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, and math.
In 2010, the ECUAD-KGMS collaboration began through a partnership with Hélène Day Fraser (a professor at Emily Carr) and Marie Watler (a teacher at KGMS), out of a desire to explore new methods of teaching. Together, they developed a project that brought together second year Industrial Design students from ECUAD and a class of grade 7 students at KGMS to create learning tools, powered by co-creative research in design.
Faculty's Perspective
Hélène Day Fraser, Associate Dean — ECUAD
“This collaboration is reciprocal more than anything — The obvious value for the kids at KGMS is having the mentorship of the design students. However, instead of only having someone teach them, many of the kids realize they have something to contribute; they feel validated that their knowledge and insights are important. Likewise, the Emily Carr design students learn to deal with design in a more nuanced way.”
Partner's Perspective
Jim Christopher, Head of School — KGMS
“It’s a wonderful partnership! Whether a project makes a profound impact on the whole school or on a just few students, we have found value in all of it. It’s symbiotic in terms of the value that KGMS & Emily Carr University get out of this collaboration."
Read More
Over the years, the collaboration has expanded to include annual projects that directly involve the Health Design Lab and aim to explore points of interest within the school that are self-identified by KGMS staff — these include the creation of communication material for self-regulations and an explorative project that aims to re-imagine the KGMS library space.

Beyond the lab, KGMS has also been the focus of past and present Master of Design students' thesis work — including that of our current HDL Director, Caylee Raber and current research assistant Mariko Kuroda. 
Podcast with Mariko
Mariko Kuroda, 2nd year MDes student 
Mariko has worked with KGMS through two Health Design Lab projects, as well as through her masters thesis work. To learn more about her journey, listen to her podcast here

"Part of the role of designers is to help people realize the power and value of design. Designers look at problems in new ways and as opportunities to help — which is especially apparent in school contexts like KGMS."

Lab Updates

New Article in 'The Conversation'

How designers can plan healthier communities, together with Indigenous families:
We know that there is a vast gap between the health of Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians; in fact Indigenous children fall well below national health averages for Canadian children... Continue Reading

Quality Forum 2019

This year, we are excited to announce that we will be sharing our insights about Co-Designing with Communitiesas one of the Quality Forum's field trip sites! Caylee will also be presenting at the Forum on Humanizing the Hospital Front Entrance Experience Through Co-Design, a collaboration with the St. Paul's Hospital Redevelopment team. In addition, one of our Health Design Lab alumnus, Claudia Hopkins (4th year, Interaction Design student), will be presenting in the Health Talk Series  as this year's winner of the the the Health Talks Student Contest

Health Design Researcher Q&A

On February 12, 2019, Joe Langley & Daniel Wolstenholme, from Lab4Living, will be Skyping in from the UK to do a Q&A session about their recent paper: Collective making as knowledge mobilisation: the contribution of participatory design in the co-creation of knowledge in healthcare. Watch our Health Deign Lab Instagram and Twitter feed for live updates!

What we've been reading

Challenges for design researchers in healthcare

Design4Health Journal, May 2018
Going beyond its traditional role in the development of medical devices, design is now broadening its scope in shaping the future of healthcare practice (Partridge 2017, Tsekleves and Cooper 2017, Wildevuur 2017) ... Continue Reading

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For more updates from the Health Design Lab, follow @EmilyCarrHDL on Instagram and Twitter

We are one of four research centres at Emily Carr University. For more information on our research centres, visit our research micro-site.
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