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Co-Design and Participatory Methods for Wellbeing

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Abstract

Wellbeing and health are closely connected as one affects the other (Howell et al,
2007; Diener and Chan, 2011). Wellbeing forms a complex notion with both an
external (e.g. poverty, physical impairment) as well as an internal dimension (e.g.
mental issues, happiness). Participatory and co-design approaches present a
fundamental shift in the traditional designer-user relationship. The co-design
approach enables a wide range of people to make a creative contribution in the
solution but critically also in the formulation of a problem, a task that has been
predominantly led by designers previously. In this chapter we explore the current use of participatory design and co-design approaches for wellbeing. Following an
introduction to the theory, we provide an overview of the main areas where
participatory and co-design approaches are being applied in relation to wellbeing. We also present two case studies where such approaches are employed for enhancing the wellbeing of people living with dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Following this we discuss the challenges and benefits for the use of co-design and participatory methods in wellbeing research projects and provide the reader with several recommendations.