Wednesday: 2:30 – 5:30 | 045.01.005C
Thursday: 11:30 – 2:30 | 045.01.005B

Lecturers: Juan Sanin and Meg Mundell

How would a living-lab in a nursing home look like? How can we incorporate creative practices into aged care services? How can we use social innovation to transform an aged care centre into a creative hub?

This studio is a social experiment into aged care. The objective is to install a living-lab in the aged care centre Gregory Lodge, and work with staff codesigning toolkits (guidelines and tools) to promote the creativity of the older persons who live in the centre. These toolkits will help residents to engage in activities around storytelling, crafts and visual arts, and transform Gregory Lodge into a creative hub. We will partner with local organisations to showcase the work made by residents in Town Halls, Libraries and Galleries.

Aged Care Living Lab is run in partnership with Royal Freemasons Gregory Lodge and RMIT Health Transformation Lab.


The Royal Commission into Aged Care found that there are not enough meaningful and stimulating activities for aged care residents, which might result in their cognitive and physical deterioration. Diversional therapies promoting the creativity of older persons represent a viable and accessible solution for this issue, but at the moment there is a lack of tools and guidelines to deliver these therapies.

How can designers improve the quality of diversional therapies and increase the wellbeing of older persons living in aged care centres?

In the last couple of years, we (Meg Mundell & Juan Sanin) have been working in projects that help people going through difficult situations to express their creativity in ways that contribute to their wellbeing. Meg has run storytelling workshops with people who have experienced homelessness, and last year published a book of stories written by workshop participants (We are Here. Affirm Press, 2019). Juan has been running the Creative Wellbeing program in Bendigo Health, an initiative where mental health patients engage in visual arts, photography and crafts activities and organise art exhibitions as part of their treatment.

In this Social Design Studio, we want to share our experiences and collaborate with students to bring the benefits of creative practice into aged care services. Initially, we will set up a living-lab at Gregory Lodge and will collaborate with staff and residents to gain a better understanding of how their diversional therapies can be improved through arts, crafts & storytelling. Then, we will create toolkits for diversional therapies, and will live-prototype these toolkits inviting residents to use them. Finally, we will partner with local organisations to showcase the works made and written by residents through pop-up exhibitions, photobooks, art auctions, magazines festivals.

*Gregory Lodge is located at 2/58 Newmarket St, Flemington – 25 minutes from the city campus by train or tram