Living rooms 1 and 2

black and white photo of Sheffield houses

Living Rooms is currently moving into an exciting second phase of its development.  This work builds on research undertaken by Professor Paul Chamberlain that looked at how design of the home can support independence and wellbeing in later life.

The initial study was funded by SPARC and as a result of its success Paul was awarded monies by the British Council to extend the research.  Living Rooms 2 seeks to build on this work to increase our understanding of the cultural issues that relate to design and ageing.

Taiwan is very much the focus of this study and is uniquely placed for a number of reasons.  Firstly whilst the majority of Asia’s elderly live with their adult children Taiwan is somewhat distinctive as the proportion of seniors living with their children has been relatively stable in recent years.

Secondly, the number of citizens who are 65 or older reached 10% of Taiwan’s national population in 2006, a figure about half of U.K.’s level, meaning Taiwan still has time to work on tackling the aging issue.

Finally Taiwan has some of the best mobile phone service, broadband internet connection (Taipei is the world’s foremost wireless ‘Cyber city’ supporting 90% of its inhabitants) and health care insurance coverage in the world. Coupled with its advanced ICT development, Taiwan is in a wonderful position to exploit this technological resource.

Taipei skyline

We are now conducting a ‘study’ with Chang Gung University in Taiwan that will develop our design understanding of the issues related to ageing in the home in the east and west. This award will fund a series of workshops as part of a research programme in collaboration with design/health researchers and ‘stakeholders’ in Taiwan that might increase our understanding of the cultural issues that relate to design and ageing.

Project updates

Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University,
Furnival Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
Phone 0114 225 6753 | Fax 0114 225 6931