ProtoPolicyAsia July “Champions Workshop” and “Co-designing Workshop with Community Members”

ProtoPolicyAsia successfully hosted a two-day “Champions Workshop” on 1-2 July 2019 followed by the “Co-designing Workshop with Community Members” on 3 July 2019 at Sunway University. These workshops were follow-up workshops based on the Introduction to Speculative Design for Policy-Making Workshop held in April and May 2019.

Champions Workshop

17 participants “Champions” from government agencies, and community-based organisations and non-government organisations attended this interactive workshop held in Sunway University. The aim was to train the Champions’ on participatory speculative design, to engage participation, and also to co-design with the facilitators for community members. Champions learnings from Day 1 and 2 will be put to test on Day 3, when the community members were brought in to the workshop.

The workshop started with an opening address by Dr Yong Min Hooi, who explained the overall project aims and specific expectations in the coming 3 days.

The two-day workshop was facilitated by Andy Darby and ProtoPolicyAsia Lead PI, Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves, both from Lancaster University. On Day 1, the Champions were introduced to Speculative Design (SD) by letting them create their own speculations of themselves. Andy led the session by stimulating the Champions’ mind in defining design and SD followed by provocation on present and futures. He introduced PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental) as a method to integrate SD at their workplace. Andy also introduced best practices in facilitation for Champions will need this skill in the subsequent workshop. On Day 2, the Champions practiced on exploring provocative solutions for their identified issues. They were then split into 7 pairs to work on their plan for the day after. The facilitators were also split up to support each new pair to guide and prepare them for the next day’s session.

We also pilot-tested the SD boardgame at the end of Day 2. The boardgame (spearheaded by Dr Clarissa Lee) is aimed at introducing SD in a fun engaging manner and to allow meaningful feedback to the game developers.

Co-designing workshop with Community Members

On 3 July 2019, 20 participants from the general public attended the “Co-designing Workshop with Community Members”. 18 were senior citizens and 2 represented the Person with Disability community. These 20 were divided to specific pairs and we had between 5 to 6 people per group. As per yesterday’s pairings and support from one facilitator, the two Champions introduced SD and facilitated their group members to build a future solution to a current/future problem. The Champions worked hard at explaining what is SD and how best to address specific needs within each community, while managing individual differences. At the end of the session, each group presented their day’s work “prototype” and explained the importance of their prototype(s) to the crowd. The Champions were debriefed by the facilitators on their performance and expectations on future workshops.

The 3-day workshop for the Champions has been gruelling and tiring, but to which the Champions demonstrated their knowledge and skill remarkably. Seeing the prototypes (although it was made from play-doh) helped Champions to ‘see’ possible and preferable outcomes.

What’s next?

We will host a two-day “Futurology Workshop” and “Pre-Prototyping Workshop” to be held at Sunway University in August where the Champions will refine the prototypes developed with the Community on 3 July. We aim to showcase some of the prototype(s) in the upcoming public dissemination events.

We look forward to seeing more participatory sessions, and welcome the general public to view our prototypes.

More details to follow and for more information please contact Liza (lizaht[at]sunway.edu.my / 60137678897) and Dr Yong (mhyong[at]sunway.edu.my / 03-7491 8622 ext 7165).

ProtoPolicyAsia Public Seminar on ‘Design in Healthcare’ and ‘Social Cognition in Malaysia’s Elderly’

ProtoPolicyAsia’s Lead PI, Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves and Malaysia PI, Dr Yong Min Hooi recently presented a public seminar at the United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) on Thursday, 4th July 2019. The seminar was attended by approximately 25 attendees from various academic institutions in Malaysia.

Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves presented on design in healthcare whereby he introduced a range of international case studies about the role of design in shaping the relationship between health, wellbeing and urban environments for now and in the future. With the rising number of older persons in the population, the number of people living with long-term conditions and diminishing resources to support healthcare has led to a significant shift in where and how healthcare is delivered. One challenge is how to reduce the cost and burden of disease, particularly of non-communicable disease, by focusing more research work around prevention and looking at how design can be useful in such causes. Dr Emmanuel also related his presentation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal #3 on “Good Health and Well-Being” and discussed well-being in relation to density, deprivation and walkability. Another interesting study shared by Dr Emmanuel was the Dust Bunny which aims at exploring hygiene practices in different home environments in Ghana to understand the home as a source of infection of AMR bacteria carried by dust. Lastly, Dr Emmanuel included the topic on Speculative Design and the ProtoPolicyAsia project.

Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves

The next speaker in the public seminar was Dr Yong Min Hooi, who presented empirical evidence collected from the Malaysian and UK populations comparing age and culture differences on Theory-of-Mind (ToM) tasks. The first study shared by Dr Yong was the “Theory-of-Mind in Malaysia: A Behavioural and Eye Gaze study on Age-Related Differences”, a study funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia. The study examined the affective and cognitive ToM in older and young adults using Movie for Assessing Social Cognition (MASC) in an Asian population. The second study shared by Dr Yong was the “Social cognition and Executive Function among Older Adults in the UK and Malaysia: Links to Socioeconomic Factors”, which was funded by the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund, British Council UK and MIGHT Malaysia. In her presentation, they investigated the effects of age (young vs. old adults) and culture (Western vs. Asian) on the interpretation of social cues across a range of different measures of social cognition, and executive function across different cognitive measurements.

Dr Yong Min Hooi

Both speakers commented about the challenges faced by older persons and how we can promote healthy ageing practices, either through design or awareness on specific deficits associated with ageing. Further, these challenges have a wide ranging impact from policy-makers to individuals caring for their aged parents. Overall, the seminar attendees were very engaged and provided good feedback during the presentations, suggesting that these topics are easily relatable to their home/work environment.