Care Design Lab
Health & Quality of Life
The Care Design Lab conducts research on issues of societal and environmental well-being and health. It brings together public and private organisations and businesses, associations and individual players with the goal of creating, developing and carrying out full-scale testing of sustainable, innovative and exploratory measures (services, methods, tools, products, spaces, etc.).
Director: Gaël Guilloux
Areas of research
Care’s research activities can be divided into three broad areas:
• Health: interrelations between prevention and care actions and user experience (patients, health professionals, carers);
• Well-being (seniors, children, etc.): lifestyle, ethics, autonomy, longevity, constraints management, self-fulfilment;
• Responsible development (energy, waste, circular economy, etc.).
• Encourage solidarity and empathy taking into account notions of individual and collective identit;
• Encourage responsible social, environmental and economic development;
• Promote new business models and managerial principles able to guarantee durability (in the sustainable development sense) of businesses and institutions.
Care’s fields of interest structure the two masters’ degree programs supervised by the Design Lab: "Health & Social Innovation" and "Sustainable Innovation" (program taught in English).
A chair Design & Public Policy Design
The Care Design Lab has organized a Public Policy Design research program with the participation of Harmonie Mutuelle and Local Authorities (Loire-Atlantique Department, Nantes Metropole, regional services attached to the Prefecture).
Various methods of design are available in the ecosystem of private and public players and stakeholders. The idea is to propose efficient practices and public policies that involve "user-citizens" in the process of co-constructing public service missions. The priority focus of the research is "vulnerable users" (children, seniors, handicapped and socially excluded people). These pathfinders are more sensitive to the context and help us understand the problems confronting them. We can then start to develop solutions to these problems and extend the solutions to all populations concerned. The first challenges to be addressed by the Chair in 2016 and 2017 are health, autonomy and energy.
The research also requires study of the challenges of our society’s digital transformation, service transversality and the involvement and commitment of citizens and end-users.
Following first invitation to propose research projects as part of the OIC (Ouest Industries Créatives) research, training and innovation program, one thesis subject concerning interdisciplinary joint design schemes for tomorrow’s elderly people’s housing was selected. Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, it will start in November 2016. The research student, Marketa Fingerova, is an anthropologist associated with the Care Design Lab. She will be supervised by Daniel Siret, AAU laboratory manager (Architectural and Urban Ambiances – Mixed Research Unit 1563 CNRS/ECN/ENSA Grenoble/ENSA Nantes), in collaboration with Gaël Guilloux, Care Design Lab director.
The research conducted at Care is based on a global design approach that reconciles social, healthcare and environmental values with technical and economic aspects and the organisation’s strategy. Products, services, spaces, digital tools and graphic communication are all seen as vectors for more responsible behaviours, integrating users in the project process.
Three issues underlie the Design Lab’s research programs:
• Protection: environmental, health, social, and societal risk management.
• Optimisation: innovate by leveraging environmental, health, social, and societal performance.
• Narration: lend tangible meaning to environmental, health, social, and societal research.
Method: a laboratory approach backed by genuine users participation
The Care Design Lab is currently in the process of being labelled as a "Living Labs Santé" (Living Health Lab) by the CGIET (Economy, Industry, Energy and Technologies Council) for the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Associated with the community of the National Living Health Labs forum, it will provide a benchmark for design.
The Living Lab research concept, in the sense described by the European Union, is a user-centred ecosystem based on a systematic user co-creation approach integrating research and innovation processes.
It initiates and animates interdisciplinary collaborative projects and invents co-design plans focused on users and stakeholders (qualitative studies). Such plans involve the notion of the "second plan", meaning a evolutive process interacting with users.
Ongoing research projects are conducted applying the Live Lab approach with users in an interdisciplinary approach that involves public and private players.
A project in partnership with Leroy Merlin Source has shed new light on housing plans implemented for older people. Can such plans engender tensions between the elderly occupants and their circle of friends and family and professional contacts? Do such plans (spaces, products, services, digital, communication) facilitate decision-making by elderly occupants starting to become dependent, rather than by an ecosystem that makes the decisions for them? This study is a first stage of a doctoral research program at the Care Design Lab associating design, architecture and anthropology.
Moreover, citizen participation in implementing solutions that address the challenges of our society’s future energy transition is one important area of research involving a number of experiments conducted with Nantes Metropole and Loire-Atlantique Department.
- How can the co-design process and the design plans derived from this process help to evolve citizens’ daily energetic routine? (with Nantes Metropole)
- How can we make tenants living precariously in private energy-wasteful dwellings aware of the impact of their energy consumption, notably on their bill? How can we make them understand the importance of choosing suitable housing to avoid the risk of "energy poverty"? Which forms of awareness communication are the most efficient? (with the Loire-Atlantique Department)
After a design approach on health assessment centres and ambulatory surgery treatment, the Design Lab is now pursuing its research with the Neonatology Department of the Nantes University Hospital. One key question is how to create a pleasant experience for young children participating in a research protocol.