Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University

Re-imagining the 100-year Life

“One in three individuals born in the West today can expect to live to be 100.’” – Office for National Statistics

This is a project undertaken by researchers in Lab4Living, a ‘Living Lab’ based at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK that adopts a co-creation approach, integrating research and innovation processes in real life communities and settings. The installation will explore the role of design and creative practice in disrupting existing medical, social, and cultural discourses around ageing.

Over the last three years, film, photography, exhibitions and creative writing are some of the methods that have been used to give voice to people about their experiences of growing older. Through these methods, Lab4Living have built new insights and understanding of the multiple transitions that ageing inevitably brings and the role that design plays in helping individuals to navigate these.

‘Re-imagining the 100-year Life’ has led to bodies of work, spanning multiple enquiries and raising questions about the meaning of home, our relationship with the natural environment, understanding of care and the essence of what it is to be human.

As these interrelated investigations have emerged, there have been many voices and perspectives. Rather than inviting the audience to see each project in isolation, this installation invites the audience to find their own way through, to map their own connections within, between and across projects and to engage in their own process of discovery to re-imagine the 100-year life.

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Lab4Living is an interdisciplinary research group, based on a collaborative community of researchers in design, healthcare and creative practices at Sheffield Hallam University. The team work together to address real world issues that impact on health and wellbeing, developing products, services and interventions that promote dignity and enhance quality of life. Set up in 2007, Lab4Living is one of the longest- established living labs in Europe. The work has spanned more than 150 research projects and has included collaborations in over 80 academic, hospital and community organisations in over 15 countries.