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.

Speculative Design for Policy-Making Workshop

ProtoPolicyAsia team successfully conducted a two one-day workshop on Introducing Speculative Design for Policy-Making on April 29th and May 2nd in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A total number of 44 participants attended the workshops and they were from various government agencies and representatives from community-based organisations and non-government organisations.

Workshop introduction by Dr Yong Min Hooi of Sunway University.

At the beginning of the workshop, participants were given a brief background on the research aims followed by watching the Speculative Design animation video as a brief introduction to speculative design.

Dr Lim Shiang Cheng from United Nations University introducing the Sugar Neutraliser Prototype to stimulate the discussion for the Speculative Café session.

We had the Speculative Café in which participants sat in small groups of 3-5 with a facilitator to discuss the SD concepts using the Sugar Neutraliser prototype that was created in previous ImaginAging workshops. After a short break, participants worked on one of the main pillars in SD; problem ideation/definition. Here, participants reviewed each issue with a specific time frame and finding specific themes and moving onto fast prototyping for solutions.

Group work session using Speculative Design in identifying short-term, mid-term, and long-term problems.
Group work on problem framing stage using Speculative Design.

They were reminded of the categories which were featured in the video, which were “Possible”, “Plausible”, “Probable”, and “Preferable” in providing a solution for their identified problem.

Group work on solution testing stage in deriving to a prototype.

What’s next?

We will host a two-day “Champions Workshop” to be held at Sunway University on July 1st & 2nd. The aim is to train the participants specific details on speculative design and how to be a successful facilitator.

To enable them to practice what they have learned, the “Champions” will run a co-designing workshop with community members on July 3rd. This is also to be held in Sunway University.

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).

Speculative Design for Policy-Making Workshop

ProtoPolicyAsia team will conduct a two 1-day workshop on Introducing Speculative Design for Policy-Making in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 29th April 2019 and 2nd May 2019.

On the day of the workshop, the program is about:

  • envisioning partnership opportunities for government and civil society to improve the quality of life for Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities in urban settings,
  • identifying barriers and facilitators to these partnerships, and
  • beginning the process of creating solutions together.

At the same time, the workshop aims to equip the participants with tools and approaches using participatory Speculative Design to envisage problems and solutions that are not merely about working around the most expedient solutions, but also to anticipate future problems and potential solutions along a range of timelines, from the short-term to the longer-term, while thinking of how these solutions could build upon each other.

Workshop flyer featured below: