Christina Deias Marketing and Communications Officer 8 February 2021

We are very excited to announce that the Awen Institute’s state-of-the-art Living Lab is due to be completed in the coming weeks, following a year of construction work being undertaken at its base at Swansea University.

The much anticipated Living Lab is a purpose-built research facility, which will allow researchers, older people, creative industries and many other stakeholders to come together to work collaboratively to develop new products, services and environments for ageing populations.

Development work first started on the Living Lab during May 2020. Despite the many obstacles that have arisen in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the construction of the facility has been able to continue following stringent safety procedures being put in place.

                                   

The Living Lab comprises three key research facilities, which are:

  • A highly flexible space to develop products in different simulated environments, such as a home, workplace, shop, health and social care environments, and public places
  • A café lab, which offers a relaxed environment for co-creation between diverse stakeholders including older people, carers, designers, commercial and non-commercial organisations and researchers
  • A virtual reality (VR) facility, which will develop opportunities with the creative industries to build and experiment in virtual environments, explore new possibilities in the world of VR gaming, and create VR content that is desirable, suitable and accessible to older people

The Living Lab will support the development of marketable new technologies that have ecological validity because they have been developed in ‘real-life’ environments. It’s facilities will also help to create a thriving network, allowing us to increase the number of researchers, staff and stakeholders who will work together to unlock our understanding of the role of creative industries in relation to an ageing population.

As the Living Lab nears completion we are keen to make contact with potential collaborators and look forward to working together to fulfil our mission of developing innovative solutions that will improve life for all of us as we age.

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