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Beyond 100: Transforming Design & Imagining Futures with Lab4Living

12 November 2022 - 26 February 2023



Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) and Lab4Living is proud to present Beyond 100: Transforming Design & Imagining Futures with Lab4Living at HKDI Gallery, marking the first Hong Kong exhibition of Lab4Living, the renowned design-led research group based within Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

As human life expectancy increases around the world, support for ageing populations has become a challenge for everyone, especially designers. Recognising the importance of people-centric design and the powerful implications of efficient and effective solutions, this exhibition looks at how design can respond to our changing demands and expectations as we grow older. While doing this, it also invites visitors to consider the civic responsibility as well as the inquisitive, provocative and technical qualities of design in response to society’s evolving circumstances and needs.
The exhibition is curated by Dr Michael Tan of Lab4Living. Through five key themes, it presents the eclectic approaches, formats and directions undertaken by the research group. The artefacts highlight the extraordinary potential of design and design research to put a different perspective on the world we live in, to transforming our way of life to foster positive and lasting change in the contexts of health and wellbeing, enabling life, and supporting human flourishing.

“Sheffield Hallam University has been HKDI’s close academic partner. It is our honour to collaborate with its research group, Lab4Living, to present this exhibition,” said Dr Lay Lian ONG, Principal of HKDI. “The design research approach of Lab4Living demonstrates that design can consider and create safe passages for all on life’s journey. The exhibition will stimulate creative thoughts and encourage our students to further develop the role of design in improving human health and general wellbeing.”

Speaking about the range of work selected for the exhibition, Lab4Living director Professor Paul Chamberlain said: “It shows how Lab4Living has utilised design to enhance quality of life in an increasingly extended life. It showcases a diversity of design approaches that highlight the importance of defining questions not just answers; the value of participatory and collaborative approaches; the need for inclusive and sustainable approaches; and solutions that are culturally and environmentally appropriate.”

Envision a Future of Living Beyond 100 Years
Visitors can explore the eclectic approaches, formats and directions undertaken by Lab4Living through five themes. The artefacts demonstrate the power and potential of design to transform lives, foster positive change and support human flourishing. The exhibition also exemplifies creative ways in which designers have responded and adapted to changing circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The theme of Creative Provocation subverts and challenges the boundaries of design practice, exploring notions of citizen science to bridge the gap between art and science. Designed by Prof Chamberlain, “HOSPITAbLe – Weighing Chair” rethinks health services for the future, especially with the increased shift towards self-care at home. Users can easily learn their weight by sitting on the Weighing Chair, making lives beyond 100 years old easier.

The Frugal Design and Sustainability theme demonstrates how effective design solutions can positively impact communities, and how these can be achieved via an economical approach. The “Playponics” exhibit is already utilised in schools and communities in India and leverages the energy generated by children’s physical activity on playground facilities to sustain a variety of hydroponic and conventionally grown crops.

In Life Transitions, we encounter the challenges that a longer lifespan can have on one’s quality of life. Design interventions are powerful ways of working with people to explore how they can continue to live well, engage in meaningful activities and maintain community connectedness. “Journeying Through Dementia” was developed in partnership with people with dementia, who spoke of the value they attached to new learning and their continued participation in everyday occupations.

In Capturing and Expressing Data, the exhibits use creative approaches to provide insights into lived experiences or to communicate data and provoke discussions through visual and physical means. The exhibit “Print my Pain – Visualising the Experience, Expression and Description of Chronic Pain” creates data-objects that enable young adults to explore and understand their own pain language so that they can communicate it to others.

Design Research in Healthcare explores how design can contribute to solutions and products that promote patient dignity, improve our healthcare experiences and support our overall well-being. The “Whole Mouth Health” exhibit explores different oral hygiene beliefs and experiences of people across the world in order to develop and support oral health literacy.


12 November
26 February 2023
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