The Beijing Global Design Studio: FutureAging Lab is an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural laboratory, which utilises empathy-based research, human-centred design and visual mapping methods and processes, to design solutions for complex problems in the area of health and ageing. The co-creation lab seeks to engage students, inherited problem owners of growing ageing population, in exploring solutions and scenarios while concurrently developing the capacity to solve complex problems in global contexts. The lab is a collaboration between the University of Technology (Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, Sydney) and Tsinghua University (Industrial Design Department and Healthcare Design Innovation Lab in the Academy of Art and Design, Beijing). The team of students participating in the lab from Australia and China is led by design strategist and academic Vivien Sung, University of Technology and Dr Chao Zhao, Tsinghua University.

The context for this lab is China’s fast-growth of it’s older population over 65 which will make up one quarter of China’s entire population by 2050. Both China and Australia face demographic changes in the coming years where the proportion of elderly will grow rapidly however both will face different cultural, social, economic and political conditions. The Asia-Pacific region ‘is expected to more than quadruple to over 2.45 billion by 2050’1 with almost two thirds of the world’s older population living in Asia-Pacific.

The approach is to use human-centred design methods of research and participatory to design with local communities. This lab explores design tools, visual methods, mapping and processes to work across disciplines and cultures with communities. The practice-based research project interweaves the skillsets of multiple disciplines of design to develop interventions and solutions for healthy aging. The lab creates connections between students, academics, government and industry between Australia and China.

Participating students include:
UTS – Jim Beard, Cory Dolman, Jack Fahy, Kai Faulkner, Amellia Hanigan, Angela Kohlhagen, Eva Li, Kimberly Luo, Kevin Millingham, Hannah Mullen, Yufei Pan, Sonia De Pellegrin, Josh Stevens, Shipra Sharma, Yanny Yu, Ariel Wang
Tsinghua – Liáng Tiānhuì, Sūn Xuějiā, Péng Dǐng, Hé Liǔtíng, Zhōng Shūyǐng, Wáng Kāitiān, Li jiayi, Qu Siqi, Qiū Bó, Táng Mùyuán, Liáng Zhìqiáng, Xú Zuòbiāo, Lǔ Zhì, Cáo Jūn, Hé Xiàyún, Liú Jùn, Yang Xu, Lim Jim Wook

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