I am a PhD candidate based in the Creative Industries Faculty and aligned with the Centre for Decent Work & Industry. My research is based on the neo-Aristotelian concept of Eudaemonia (that is literally defined as eu (good or health) + daimon (true self)--being one's best self) and the applied psychology construct of Eudaemonic Well-Being (EWB) to understand how to Design for EWB in the built environment. As a PhD candidate who has come from industry, I have seen the propensity for companies to design wastefully for "the art of the possible" or frugally when considering "the mighty dollar", oftentimes forgetting what's in the best interest of the occupant. My PhD focuses on exploring what occupants want and need in the spaces they inhabit. I seek to gain this understanding by co-designing with older adults to comprehend their physical, mental, and social health needs and wants in their homes. By working with this demographic, I endeavor to establish Eudaemonic Design as a design paradigm for optimal health and empowerment while also addressing population ageing concerns. The result of my research will be a Eudaemonic Design framework with design guidelines that will characterize Eudaemonia-supportive environments for older adults (and potentially other demographics) and will inform Eudaemonic Design in the home.
(2020 - photo series)
In this morphing photo series, I focus on a house where an older adult woman lives alone. She loves her happy gold-painted home. It was the second home she and her husband bought after they were married. She raised her children here and now enjoys caring for her flowers, playing her ukelele, and visiting with neighbours on her front porch each night. She relishes her independence and would love to age-in-place, but she doesn't feel she has what's needed to do so in a health-supportive way to flourish.
This photo series represents the continuum of the Co-Design process and its degree of user engagement when considering the objective of this research—to define truly empowering, happy, healthy, and flourishing Eudaemonic Design. The left side depicts the traditional design process, in which the user or occupant is essentially invisible. However, by engaging the occupant in varying degrees of participation through Co-Design, as depicted on the right, her image becomes more visible and understood by designers and society, in general.