New Kind of Commune for Elderly
They are unlikely revolutionaries. Bearing walkers and canes, a veritable Merck Manual of ailments among them, the 12 old friends - average age 80 - looked as though they should have been sitting down to a game of Scrabble, not pioneering a new kind of commune.
Opting for old age on their own terms, they were starting a new chapter in their lives as residents of Glacier Circle, the country's first self-planned housing development for the elderly - a community they had conceived and designed themselves, right down to its purple gutters.
Read more and see the video in the New York Times February 27, 2006 (registration required but free)
RED REPORT 01: Open Health ...Published
Today we publish our first RED report: 'Open Health'. The report follows on from the RED PAPER 01 Health: Co-creating Services and presents the findings of practical work undertaken over the 9 months from December 2004.
The report remains work in progress and we welcome comment. Over the coming months we will be looking at taking this work to a different scale working in partnership with other health and non-health organisations. Regular updates on our progress will be found on this blog.
You can download the report and the associated design notes from our health page.
Neal Lawson on New Collectivisim
It happens rarely but you know those wonderful moments where you discover that there other people, even better a group of people, out there are worrying about the same problems as you, pretty much in the same way - but you know you might be able to help them and they can almost certainly help you. That was the feeling after 60 mins with the RED team discussing public service reform.
After invaluable input from many of you who read this blog, the final draft of our Transformation Design paper is now finished. Many thanks to all of you who have shared your work, ideas and comments with us. We couldn't have done this without you.
We believe that there is huge potential in this approach. This paper is a call to action to all designers and non-designers wishing to work in this way to join us in developing transformation design as a discipline.
The paper begins to set out the characteristics of the emergent discipline of Transformation Design. It identifies a nascent but growing community of practice. It highlights an under-supply of designers equipped to work in this way. And it explores the market for, and the challenges facing, designers who are starting to work in this new discipline.
This paper forms the basis of ongoing work at RED. We are keen to build a community around the practice of transformation design.
We have highlighted a small number of examples in this text. There must be many more of which we are unaware, and many other groups who are beginning to work in this way. If you are part of this, we would like to hear from you.
Our work is open source, so we are open for you to fervently agree, violently disagree, and above all to share your views with us and to share other examples by commenting below or sending us an email. Click here to read the final draft
Elderly care in a home or in your home?
One of the big questions around ageing well is the choice between staying in your own home or moving into a care home. Many of the people we spoke to were adamant that 'no-one wants to be in a home'. So one of the opportunities then is to design systems that support older people staying in their own homes longer. According to the New York Times:
Beacon Hill Village (is) an innovative nonprofit organization created by and for local residents determined to grow old in familiar surroundings, and to make that possible for others. Community-based models for aging in place designed by the people who use them are the wave of the future, experts say, an alternative to nursing homes and assisted living centers run by large service providers.
See the extended entry for the full article.
We have been developing our direction for the Ageing project due to commence in April this year. In our initial investigations we spoke to older people in nursing homes, in their own homes, and front line staff working in the nursing care sector. Each member of the team undertook their own light touch research to inform ourselves of the issues facing people as they enter or prepare for older age. Our starting point was the challenge that we might 'design out' the need for nursing homes.
Health Project Design Notes published!
We've just published the Design Notes for our Health Project. They detail the user research and co-design that went into developing prototypes of co-created systems in Kent - to encourage active ageing and in Bolton to develop systems to help people live better with type 2 diabetes.
Get them here
We will soon be publishing our second RED paper - a call to arms for the Design Industry to embrace an emerging way of working that we call Transformation Design. The paper identifies a growing community of practice and a body of work that begins to set out the characteristics of this emergent discipline. It explores the market and the challenges facing designers wishing to work in this way.
Here's a draft excerpt which set out what we see as the core characteristics of Transformation Design practice.
The final draft is now available here
Hilary's Davos Journal
Earlier this year I was elected a 'Young Global Leader' by the Davos World Economic Forum. I have also had a baby and am rather averse to travelling but in the end I decide on a compromise - to go for just half the week and so, on a diamond bright afternoon I find myself at the Schatzalp - a romantic location above the Swiss village of Davos, the inspiration for Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain
Our first session is titled the Art of Leadership. Art as opposed to science sounds promising. A few fellow YGLs are invited to stand up and tell their personal stories of leadership. Two tell of personal danger in pioneering freedom of the press against opposing regimes, another has overcome personal disability, a fourth has abandoned a lucrative position at the head of a global company to start an education venture. They are powerful stories - the theme and so the art is one of moral courage.