Activating Fengxi Retirees’ Life through Service Co-design: A design proposal and challenges

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Degree Programme in Industrial and Strategic Design
Teollisen muotoilun koulutusohjelma
As the number of Chinese retiree is increasing, seniors’ mental health care has become a major social issue. In China, “Active aging” where retirees helped to construct the society was proven to be an effective way to avoid their mental diseases. However, existing activities in “Active aging” programs might not fit for the local seniors’ real interests and dreams. On the other hand, due to the modernization and globalization, many Chinese traditions are endangered. To preserve the tradition, elderly people, who have better knowledge in this field, will play an essential role. This thesis was focused on ceramic retirees and ceramic culture conservation in Fengxi, which is the Ceramic Capital of China. It aimed at providing a delicate solution that can activate ceramic retirees through passing on their ceramic knowledge. To understand Fengxi retirees’ life attitude and their opinions towards their ceramic knowledge heritage, design probes and in-depth interviews were conducted with ceramic retirees. With the understanding, the design direction was then elaborated. To create desired solutions for both retirees and potential heritors, three co-create workshops were then organized. Based on the pervious studies, the final concept HONGLO ceramic community was created. Field research, stakeholder map and in-depth interview were then used to the other stakeholders to discuss the sustainability and feasibility of the design proposal. In the end, a service collaborator was found. A service prototype was thus built to test the service experience, explore how to operate the service, and how to bring the concept to life. In the project, I co-designed the solution with the local community and other social parties. Different service design methods were used, which showed how these methods worked in the collaboration. In the end, I reflected on the design process and discussed how the designer can collaborate with different stakeholders to create a desirable, sustainable and feasible solution, and what are the challenges to collaborate with the local community and the public sectors.
Lee, Jung-Joo
Service design, Active aging, Chinese culture conservation
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