Older people and product design

Industry’s ideas about the usability of their products doesn’t match those of older people. That’s what the Centre for Modern Ageing found in their survey of 1000 older people and product design. Given Australia’s ageing population, product designers should focus more on making everyday products more user-friendly. That means taking a universal design approach and using co-design methods.

A word cloud created a visual representation of how many times respondents used a word to describe the difficulties they have with product design. And these are everyday products. The image is from the report.

A screenshot from the report showing a word cloud. Words include difficult, small, expensive, complicated, poor instructions, impossible, frustrating and disappointing.

Key findings from the survey

Key findings focused on products older people use in their daily lives.

  • 93% said product usability supports independent living
  • 43% rarely or never seek assistance to operate the product even when dissatisfied with product usability
  • More than 50% believe products are not user-friendly.

The Image is from the report.

A graphic showing the different issues with product design. Opening mechanisms, weight and handling, safety, connectivity and compatibility, inadequate instruction, remotes and interfaces, small print and complicated technology

Grip issues related to slippery handles, tight lids, weight of products, and small text on labels and confusing instructions weren’t helpful either. Product packaging is also a challenge and probably not just for older people.

Electronic devices with menus and different functions as well as issues connecting devices to others and to networks were difficult and challenging.

The title of the report is Empowering Older Australian with Better Product Usability. Go to the Global Centre for Modern Ageing to download the report for more detail.

Help for product designers

The Inclusive Design Toolkit from the University of Cambridge has an Exclusion Calculator to show how many people can’t use a design due to their level of capability. It covers most of the issues discussed in the report. It’s an excellent online resource for product designers.

The Universal Design of Products and Services has more detailed information which includes guidelines on body size.

Note that some designs are potentially covered by the Australian Disability Discrimination Act.

Useability of small kitchen appliances

A busy array of small kitchen appliances and cooking utensils.

Meal preparation is something most of us do every day. It’s not until you can’t do it that you realise how much it impacts on wellbeing, independence and quality of life. 

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee worked with General Electric to develop an audit tool they can apply to the design of their small appliances. The tool can be used by engineers, retailers and individuals as well.

The title of the tool is Small Kitchen Appliance Accessibility and Universal Design Information Tool (SKA AUDIT). It includes 7 features: doors, lids, dials, on/off water reservoirs, buttons and “ready” indicators. Both physical and cognitive conditions were considered in the development of the tool.

The title of the article is Small Kitchen Appliance Accessibility and Universal Design Information Tool (SKA AUDIT).  

The Pain of Design

A work table is filled with paper and folders and a woman is cutting a piece of paper with scissors. It looks like a group of people are working on a design.

Arthritis is a common condition and is not often referred to as a disability. However, the pain of arthritis is disabling. So how to design out pain? Design Council ran a workshop with people with arthritis. They found that no-one was interested in special products, which are often stigmatising. So the principle of inclusive design became the top issue.

“Inclusive design is crucial. You have to step away from the idea that it’s “older people” having a problem and start looking at a universal problem and therefore a universal solution.”

They found the most important thing is that people want desirable, stylish, mainstream products that anyone would want to own. People don’t want medicalised, stigmatising equipment. Clearly, including the user-voice is the way to design for all rather than the mythical average. 

The article is titled, Ollie Phelan of Versus Arthritis writes about the importance of the end-user being at the heart of design, and can be accessed on the Medium.com website where there is more information.

Ableism in health care

You’d think health care workers would know about disability, but apparently, disabilities are not discussed or taught in a health care context. Questions over quality of life, ability to decide and choose are all issues that affect people with disability when interacting with the health profession.

An article written by two nurses calls out ableism in health care. Ableism occurs when a person with disability experiences discrimination or prejudice from a health care provider.

A man in a turquoise hospital gown, cap and mask is holding a thumbs up sign. He looks like a nurse or a doctor.

They can underestimate the person’s quality of life or competence which affects their level of care. Patients need to feel safe and not to be fearful of being judged or not being heard.

Case study

The article uses a case study of a 60 year old women with Down syndrome to illustrate the issues during the COVID pandemic. This case is not about the care provider being ableist, but being an advocate for the woman. The doctor was pressured by family members to activate the do not resuscitate (DNR) code when the woman entered ICU. The doctor persisted in advocating for the patient and she eventually recovered.

Communication with patients is key. Patients with cognitive disabilities may face attention, memory and comprehension challenges. Nurses must therefore adapt their communication style, learn about the disability and avoid negative language that insults or demeans.

The authors encourage nurses to advocate for people with disability within health care services and in the design of environments.

Entrance to the emergency section of a hospital.. Co-design and ableism in health care.

Ableism isn’t just about patients – it includes family members, and other health care workers. Knowledge can help overcome stereotypes and stigma and improve health and wellbeing for all. Knowledge also helps nurses and other health professionals to feel confident when engaging with people with disability.

This short summary of Ableism in Health Care is open access, and you can access the full paper in the American Journal of Nursing.

Architectural Science and User Experience

A book of long abstracts from the International Conference on Architectural Science and User Experience shows how varied this topic is. From Biophilic design and carbon reduction to environments that stimulate play and primary school design.

The list includes: active travel, housing, ageing, dementia, disability, digital technology, education and practice, air quality, landscaping, tourism, and more.

Front cover of the book of proceedings from Architectural Science and User Experience.

These short papers are from the 55th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association, 1-2 December 2022, Perth, Australia. Here is an overview of just one of the papers.

Architecture of inclusion

Architectural knowledge about designing for people with disability was held back by committing people to institutions and group homes. Consequently the teaching and design skills have not kept up with the times. The tendency is to conform to existing regulations, rather than being a driver of innovation.

New references in the National Standard of Competency for Architects around designing for disability require graduates to demonstrate these competencies. Using the experience of the inclusion of Indigenous competencies in the National Standard, this paper explores the difficulties the profession and teaching institutions may encounter around identifying people with lived experience working in architecture, or as design teachers.

The paper discusses the units of competency and relevance to building codes, standards and planning controls including barriers to access for all. In essence, educators and practitioners must draw on building and environmental sciences and social sciences in their preliminary work.

Skills in diversity equity and inclusion are not supported with legislation. The challenges for architecture courses is the lack of disability knowledge and Indigenous knowledge. University systems, structures and teaching competencies are challenged by these new requirements.

Architecture needs to move on from ‘risk’ in administrative processes such as contracts, to progressive themes including care for Country and equitable access.

The title of the conference proceedings is, Architectural Science and User Experience: How can Design Enhance the Quality of Life. It consists of short papers rather than full papers.

Access the whole book via the article, Regenerative Design Performance assessment: a critical review on page 504 on ResearchGate. It will show all the other abstracts. Otherwise you can purchase the book online.

Pillars of neurodiversity in learning

Claire O’Neill from the University College of Cork uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals to underpin her work on the ENGAGE Programme. SDG Goal 4 is about inclusive and equitable education to promote lifelong learning. She explains how she used it to design the Programme for neurodivergent adult learners.

Infographic showing the 4 pillars of neurodiversity. Neurodiversity occurs naturally. No neurotype is better than another. Neurodiversity operates like other dimensions of equality and diversity. There is a collective value and strength in diversity.

Image from the Engage Programme in the AHEAD journal.

The 4 Pillars of Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity occurs naturally. No neurotype is better than another. Neurodiversity operates like other dimensions of equality and diversity. There is a collective value and strength in diversity.

The Programme is influenced by the three principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Briefly, they are about providing multiple means of engagement, representation, and expression. In essence, the why, what and how of learning that motivates learners and gives them access to knowledge.

The ENGAGE is an acronym for each workshop within the programme’s framework and builds on the UDL concepts. The programme was developed with autistic adults and the Thriving Autistic and Galway Autism Partnership. The aim is to be a safe, inclusive and equitable way for neurodivergent adults to learn.

Participants were highly satisfied with the programme because of the neurodiversity-affirmative approach and the spirit of collaboration. They also appreciated the online environment and spirit of co-operation.

The title of the article is, The ENGAGE Programme – Creating an Online Inclusive and Equitable Learning Environment for Neurodivergent Adults. It is published by the AHEAD journal.

Higher education: digital equity and autism


A view of Griffith University building which is new and about seven storeys high. Digital equity and autism.Beware the diagnosis – it leads to stereotypes and misplaced assumptions. This was one of the findings from a research project at Griffith University on digital equity. A common assumption is that people with autism find it difficult or stressful in social situations. For example, university discussion groups and making presentations. An assumption that follows is online learning would be their preferred learning method. Turns out this is not the case.

Digital equity for everyone

All students had difficulty with online content for three key reasons:

    1. Students had problems identifying which parts of the online content were most important.
    2. They needed clarification of content by instructors to aid their online learning
    3. Students found it helpful when the instructor communicated links between content across the weeks or modules. 

So, the diagnosis is not the person. The research paper includes a literature review and a survey of students who identified as having autism. It has much useful information regarding the design of teaching and learning. The major point is that what’s good for students with autism is good for everyone. 

The title of the study is, “Online learning for university students on the autism spectrum: A systematic review and questionnaire study”. It was published in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology – special issue: Digital Equity. It’s open access.

From the abstract

Online course delivery must consider the equity of the learning experience for all students. Online delivery may reduce challenges and stressors present in face-to-face delivery and promote student learning for specific student groups including autism. However, the experience of learning online for autistic students is largely unknown.

Findings from two studies identified that the online environment provided both facilitators of and barriers to the learning experience for autistic students. The way design factors are employed in online delivery can create barriers to the learning experience.   

Inclusive practice in higher education

The 2016 Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education includes papers from the International Conference. All articles include the concept of universal design in learning with a focus on neurodiversity.  It covers methods and research in higher education and transition to work.

Contributions to this journal encourage emancipatory methods with neurodiverse people, particularly involving their personal experiences.  The Journal is published in Word format making it widely accessible.

The papers cover a diversity of topics such as academic access for diverse learners, thinking and practicing differently, experiences of staff, links between perceptual talent and dyslexia, and modification of exam papers. 

Transport infrastructure co-design toolkit

Public transport infrastructure in Queensland is undergoing significant design changes using co-design methods. The new Cross River Rail project embraced the concept of co-design to ensure new and upgraded infrastructure is fully accessible. The result is a transport infrastructure co-design toolkit as well as accessible trains and stations.

Co-design of large-scale public transport infrastructure spans several stages in the design process. Consequently, embedding a culture of co-design across the organisation is essential in the planning, development and implementation stages.

Image from the Toolkit

New train in a new tunnel with workers looking on. Cross River Rail Co-design toolkit.

The authority responsible for the project collaborated with the disability community and established strategic priorities to support ongoing infrastructure design.

Accessibility agenda

First there needs to be an accessibility agenda – finding out the diversity of accessibility challenges. That means establishing ways of working with the disability sector to drive decision making. However, there is a risk that some of these priorities disappear in pre-project activities such as feasibility studies and technical requirements. Some decisions made at these stages cannot be changed as they lock in key aspects of the design.

A culture of accessibility

An organisation-wide culture of accessibility is essential for the success of projects. Without this culture change the potential for “gaps” in the travel chain will arise for travellers. Sharing information across the different transport organisations and contractors and consultants is a must. By consolidating the knowledge base across the sector, it eventually gets easier to create inclusive public transport projects.

The title of the Toolkit is, Embedding Accessibility Co-design into the Delivery of Public Transport Infrastructure. The document is the result of research collaboration between the Hopkins Centre and the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority. The outcome has established a clear set of priorities for continued support of changes including those already underway. They key element is co-design with the disability community.

Toolkit contents

There are three parts to the document: Context and background, Outline of the co-design process, and Facilitating the co-design process. The appendices have extra detail and additional resources.

The Appendix on co-design mindsets appears to follow the theory of the once popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Nevertheless it does indicate that different people think differently – a concept aligned with Universal Design for Learning. It means people should be given the opportunity to express their thoughts in different ways.

The video below gives an overview and showcases some of the innovations in design. For more about accessibility, visit the Cross River Rail website where there are more videos with transcripts.

Inclusive and sustainable communities

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals are intertwined. Lisa Stafford explains the connections in a paper outlining her co-designed research project. She takes a disability justice perspective on inclusive cities through the voices of people with disability.

Inclusion and equity are integral to achieving sustainable cities and communities. But the voices of people with disability are missing in the urban agenda.

People standing in front of large paper with graphic harvest (drawings) from community chat about inclusive and sustainable communities.

A previous paper briefly explains the research design, preliminary work, and the co-design method.

Key findings

The five elements of inclusive communities need to be reflected in how communities and cities are designed and planned.

  • Planning for human diversity
  • All people-centred urban governance
  • Equity, accessibility and ease are core bases
  • Planning for connectedness
  • Vibrant places and experiences

Graphic by Kylie Dunn

Graphic showing the five elements of making inclusive communities.

To achieve equitable outcomes means addressing the entrenched notion of ‘normal’ and the stereotypes of what constitutes ‘disability’. Fundamental to making communities inclusive is the ability to connect with nature and other people and place. Vibrant places provide experiences that are important to wellbeing and a sense of belonging.

Inclusive communities is a lived concept, not something drawn up in plans or policies. It is multidimensional and experienced in places. The legacy of ableist urban planning means that communities remain places of exclusion.

The title of the article is, The Makings of Disability-Inclusive Sustainable Communities: Perspectives from Australia. Note that Stafford and the research team prefer to use the identity first term “disabled people”. They acknowledge that some people prefer “person first” language of “people with disability”. The UN Convention uses the person first terminology.

From the abstract

The right to inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable suburbs is an aim of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11. The focus is on addressing race, disability, class, gender and age inequality and injustice by the year 2030.

Despite this interest in creating inclusive sustainable cities and communities, we still know little about what this means for disabled people. In this article, we address this gap through participatory qualitative research study.

The study, Planning Inclusive Communities, involved 97 people (9-92 years of age). More than 50% identified as disabled people from two Australian regions – Tasmania and Queensland.

The research revealed five core interrelated elements in “The Makings of Inclusive Communities”. These five elements reinforce the importance of interconnected social, economic, and built environment structures and systems in facilitating inclusion, and that inclusion happens in place and movement through everyday experiences.

The findings offer new insights through the voices of disabled and non-disabled people, around issues of equity, access, and inclusion. The research guides future urban policy and planning for inclusive cities and communities.

Footpath clues: where are they?

Research by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT reveals there are new footpath and urban design challenges faced by people with low vision or blindness. The research is part of a longitudinal study to understand what environmental and footpath clues are needed and used. Tactile indicators are only part of the story even when they are present and properly placed.

A total of 622 people with low vision or blindness from around Australia took part in the survey. Many challenges impact their confidence in getting out and about. New-style urban design features are creating additional challenges.

Image from Walking for Everyone Guide

A woman wearing bright blue clothing is holding a white cane while walking along a residential street.

The first survey was conducted in 2015. The 2023 survey revealed new challenges not mentioned in the earlier survey. Micro-mobility, shared paths, shared roads, and crowd protection barriers are now on the list of challenges.

Shared paths

The application of shared paths has increased significantly since 2015. Consequently, this emerged as a major issue in 2023. The speed and unpredictability of cyclists and micro-mobility users means these paths feel unsafe.

Flush finishes

Another new and popular urban design feature is flush finishes. Not surprisingly, 80% of respondents lacked confidence in crossing roads when the footpath and road were at the same level. Places where the road and footpath are level are often found in shared zones and flush finish intersections. Respondents over the age of 65 find these finishes particularly unsafe.

The absence of clear distinctions and continuous finishes hinder straight-line navigation. This is made worse by street furniture, goods displays and outdoor dining positioned along the building line.

Flush finishes at intersections with traffic lights where there are no gutters, kerbs or kerb ramps are a significant challenge. With multiple lanes of traffic in both directions, together with buses and light rail, create high levels of anxiety for safety. Consequently, they are often avoided.

Wayfinding

Key wayfinding factors for safe travel are based on maintaining a straight path, safe road crossings, and knowing where it safe and hazardous. This is regardless of whether the person is using a cane, a guide dog or their remaining sight.

Kerb ramps are vital markers. People who are blind or have low vision know to pause and assess the situation. They also reinforce appropriate guide dog behaviour when approaching roads.

Read more about this research in an article in Access Insight. It’s titled, Environmental clues: Using them and losing them. The article explains why newer street and urban design features are preventing people with low vision or blindness from equitable use of our public domain.

From a universal design perspective, many design features that are essential for some, are also good for others. Children are taught to stop at kerbs for safety, and older people prefer clear separation between footpaths and other zones. People with neurodiverse conditions, including dementia, also need clear signals to navigate the built environment.

Walking is supposed to be good for us, but not if street design causes anxiety and prevents people from making journeys.

Colour checker for images

Colour is used in may ways to communicate information. This is where a colour checker for images comes in handy. Maps and bar charts are everyday examples of using colour to differentiate one feature from another. Advertisements, and web pages use colour to attract the eye and convey messages. But what if some people can’t distinguish colour in the same way as the chart or web designer?

Colour vision deficiency (CVD), commonly called colour blindness, occurs in approximately 8% of the population.

Colour diagram showing the three different types of colour vision deficiency. Colour checkers for images.

Colour checkers and contrast checkers are not new with various apps available, mostly for websites. From the University of Glasgow comes Colour Quest designed for conveying statistical information in various chart forms. It’s a free application that tests histograms, bar charts, line charts, scatter charts, and box plots. However, it will test any jpg or png image.

Colour Quest shows how a chart or image looks for people with either one of two types of CVD: red-green vision deficiency (Protanomaly), and blue-yellow deficiency (Deuteranomaly). It’s rare to have both where colour becomes various shades of grey.

Screenshot of the heatmap mode of the colour checker.

Screenshot of the Colour Quest colour checker application showing the differences between red-green CVD and blue-yellow CVD

The Colour Quest application is easy to use and to explore the best colours to use from the standard palette. You can try any png or jpg image and experiment with colours chosen from the left hand bar to see how it works.

The National Eye Institute has more information about colour vision deficiency. See also previous posts on readability and CVD, and older adults and colour.

The title of the research paper is, Color Quest: An interactive tool for exploring color palettes and enhancing accessibility in data visualization.

From the abstract

The significance of color palette selection goes beyond aesthetics and scientific communication, encompassing accessibility for all, especially individuals with color vision deficiencies.

To address this challenge, we introduce “Color Quest,” an intuitive Shiny app that empowers users to explore color palettes for data visualization while considering inclusivity. The app allows users to visualize palettes across various types of plots and maps to see how they appear to individuals with color blindness.

Colour Quest enables users to visualize palettes on their own custom-uploaded images. It was developed using open-source standards. Color Quest aligns with accessibility discussions, and is a practical tool and platform for raising awareness about inclusive design.

Being open-source fosters transparency, community collaboration, and long-term sustainability. Color Quest’s practicality renders it indispensable for scientific domains, simplifying palette selection and promoting accessibility. Its impact extends beyond academia to diverse communication settings, harmonizing information dissemination, aesthetics and accessibility for more impactful scientific communication.

CUDA’s Symposium in Brisbane

Connecting People and Places with Universal Design: Queensland leading the way

Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre

The aim of the half day symposium is to develop recommendations for raising the presence and profile of universal design and inclusion in the legacy of the Brisbane 2032 Games. It will focus on housing, transport, and tourism.

The half day format will be a speaker panel with representatives from housing, transport, and tourism followed by small group work on framing recommendations. The recommendations will contribute to the implementation of Queensland’s key strategy Elevate 2042 Games Legacy Plan.

This symposium will be of interest to urban and regional planners, practitioners involved in liveable cities, sports administrators, advocacy groups, and anyone who is interested in creating an inclusive Queensland.

Malcolm Middleton, OAM, former Queensland Government Architect, will address the topic of housing. 

 

Kevin Cocks AM, Department of Transport and Main Roads will address the topic of transport.

 

Melissa James, Inclusive Tourism Australia will discuss the topic of tourism.

 

The second half of the symposium will be small group work focused on the Brisbane Games 2032 Legacy. The aim is to frame recommendations for the implementation plan.

With only 50 places for this important event be sure to register early. Registration is $50, CUDA members $30.

The registration page is included within the ATSA Independent Living Expo, which is being held concurrently at the same venue. This has made the process longer than desirable, but it was a way to keep our costs down.

Please follow these instructions to register:

To begin registration go to https://interpoint.eventsair.com/atsa-expo-brisbane-2024/registration/Site/Register 

Enter your personal details on the next page. 

Click through the next page. 

Next page choose 30 May 2024. 

Click through the Expo program pages until you get to the last page which is the symposium. This is where you register for the event.  

Send Jane an email if this doesn’t work and she will organise your registration.

You are welcome to attend the ATSA Expo as well – it’s free.  

Health promoting urban design

Big trees under a blue sky in Skansen, Sweden. Wooden tables and benches in the foreground. Health promoting urban design.
Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden

The links between urban design and physical and mental health are well established. So how do you take an evidence-based approach to health-promoting urban design and green spaces? Swedish landscape architects wanted to know how to translate existing evidence into design and looked to researchers to help. 

Researchers and landscape architects collaborated on a project using participatory action research methods. Researchers used existing evaluation tools and two case studies to test the processes. 

One case study used an existing park that was due for renewal. Citizens, politicians and planners were involved in collaborative activities. Design proposals were evaluated based on the feedback from the local stakeholders. This is how they discovered the most important design aspects to consider in the second part of the study.

Aspects such as safety, vegetation, water flow, and traffic management were considered in the design. Residents with homes and gardens next to the park were concerned that this would attract visitors from other areas. New users were apparently not welcome to “their” space.

The article explains the collaborative processes that involved the researchers, the landscape architects and other stakeholders. The Quality Evaluation Tool was used as the framework for the study. Some landscape architects found it took time to learn how to use the tool. Others found it wasn’t easy to use it either – they needed something simpler.

However, the tool was useful in knowing how to apply evidence and assist the design process itself. Overall, landscape architects said they had a better understanding of how their designs could promote health and wellbeing. 

The title of the article is, Health-promoting urban planning: A case study of an evidence-based design process.  There are reflections on participatory action research as part of the concluding comments.

Healthy View of Placemaking

A young woman and young man are walking on a wide concrete path. They are wearing white T shirts and jeans.An opinion piece on the Design Council website gives an overview of the study they did with Social Change UK. More than 600 built environment practitioners across the UK completed the survey. They found that healthy placemaking often sits outside mainstream housing, public health and placemaking policy. 

The article explains the economic benefits of healthy placemaking. The Design Council defines healthy placemaking as, “tackling preventable disease by shaping the built environment so that healthy activities and experiences are integral to people’s everyday lives.” Neighbourhoods that enable include:

    • Physical activity: To increase walkability in buildings and neighbourhoods and encourage healthy modes of transport
    • Healthy food: To improve access to healthier foods
    • Social contact: To design well-connected housing and neighbourhoods that provide access to facilities and amenities to reduce social isolation and loneliness,
    • Contact with nature: To provide access to the natural environment, including parks
    • Pollution: Reducing exposure to air and noise pollution.

This all adds up to compact, mixed-use, walkable and wheelable neighbourhoods with leafy streets and great parks.  

Measuring the benefits of universal design

A yellow caution sign is taped to the ground with red tape. The doorway entrance has a step below the door with yellow and red tape on it.Dr David Bonnett writes in an opinion piece for the Design Council, that health professionals need to step up to show the benefits (cost savings) of designing inclusively. Inclusive design contributes to our health and wellbeing, but these benefits are rarely measured.

In the UK new buildings, both public infrastructure and private homes, must incorporate basic access features. But older buildings are not under the same regulation. There are costs for refurbishing older buildings, but by now we should be calculating that cost more effectively.

The cost of improving these are borne by local authorities. Bonnet says, “Design professionals, highways engineers included, are open to influence, and access consultants and others can tell them what to do. But first, health professional must assist in devising a method for demonstrating the benefits of inclusive design in order to make the case. Concerns for health succeeded in a ban on smoking in public building almost overnight. Inclusive design – already fifty years in the making – has got some catching up to do.” 

Building health and wellness

A woman strikes a yoga pose alone in a city square with tall buildings around.We need healthy architecture – that is, architecture that supports human health and wellness. Louis Rice claims that human illness is related to the design of the built environment. Key issues are discussed in a book chapter that covers social, mental and physical health and “restorative” design. He proposes a “healthy architecture map” based on materials, environments, agency and behaviours. The title of the chapter is A health map for architecture: The determinants of health and wellbeing in buildings. Abstract is below.

There is more useful information and research in the book including a chapter from Matthew Hutchinson, The Australian dream or a roof over my head. An ecological view of housing for an ageing Australian population.  

The World Health Organization also links health and the built environment in the WHO Housing and Health Guidelines. It includes a chapter on accessible housing.

Health, Technology and Buildings: a review

Abstract: Research into health, particularly social and psychological health, is crucial. Ultimately, an in-depth understanding of social and psychological health will more than promote well-being.

Technology research is indispensable, particularly concerning health and the built environment, given the need to create holistic and supportive frameworks for well-being. Moreover, because literature reviews establish the foundation for academic inquiries, they provide valuable overviews for foresight into grey research areas, particularly multi-disciplinary research like health technology and the built environment.

Hence, this study aims to discover the existing themes on health, technology, and built-environment nexus subjects while revealing the grey areas and suggesting proactive areas for future research. The objectives drove this aim to:

1. investigate the implications of technology for the social and psychological dimensions of health;

2. uncover the likelihood of a nexus between health, technology, and the built environment; and

3. highlight new research perspectives for the concluding seven years of the SDGs (2024–2030).

The review results highlighted ten themes around which a nexus exists between health, technology, and the built environment; they also pointed out new research perspectives for the next seven years (up to 2023).

The title of the paper is, Health, Technology And Built Environment Nexus: A Systematic Literature Review .

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