From the 27th of June until the 7th of July 2017, 75 students from Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong will meet in Singapore to work together to research, visit hospitals, design firms and care facilities in order to create new and innovative design solutions on the topic of ‘design for healthy aging.’
The results of this workshop will be displayed in a special exhibition at the National Design Centre from the 7th – 10th of July 2017.
Design for the ageing population is a topic of interest across the globe but is especially relevant in the Asia Pacific region where some of the largest population imbalances are estimated. In Australia, the population of citizens over 65 is estimated to rise to 9.6 million (with more than 1.9 million over 85) by the year 2064. Similarly in Singapore the aging population is rapidly increasing; currently there are 440,000 people over the age of 65 with estimates that by 2030 it will double to 900,000 with one in five residents 65 or older. The impact of this population imbalance in both Australia and Singapore will be profound. More robust health services will need to be implemented and considerations for housing, community interaction and dealing with new technologies will need to be adapted to suit the needs of this growing population.
Our countries share similarities as both Singapore and Australia are considered multicultural societies with a focus on tolerance of religious and cultural belief systems across a wide range of cultural backgrounds. In Australia, one in four people were born overseas. There are over 260 languages spoken in Australia and Australian people identity with over 270 different ancestral backgrounds. Singapore is a nation of immigrants whose ancestors came from all over Asia, Australasia and Europe, but mainly from China, India, Indonesia and the Middle East.
The “Inspired by Singapore” workshop and exhibition is a means to bring together different cultural and disciplinary voices in order to educate students on how to approach this topic and also to forge new and creative solutions and partnerships through cross-cultural exchange.
This is a collaborative project between the University of Canberra, Faculty of Arts and Design (Australia), Monash University, Nursing and Midwifery (Australia), Nanyang Polytechnic, School of Health and School of Design, and The Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (Architecture and Built Environment).