A stage for collective imagination
A design game XHealth Lab II (2019)
XHealth Lab (eXtreme Health Lab) is a place for imagination - an imaginarium. A place for imagining health(care) futures. You can call it an installation, a stage, a design game too, as long as it means a non-judgmental place for imagination and conversations. Lo-fi and physical, the set is specifically designed to facilitate participants to imagine the futures of healthcare - in space (a place where very few has been). It is an open invitation to create alternative and preferable futures - in the context of unknowns.
The Research From the vantage point of the present, the futures are, by definition, plural. They are alternatives, conceptualised by existing and existed human beings. From the set of alternatives, ideas about desirable futures are derived. But who decides the set of alternatives that forms the basis of further deliberations, especially in the face of unknown-unknowns? An 18-month design research project, entitled “Designing for Healthcare in Space”, has been conducted to develop a methodology for participatory future studies with non-experts, given a complex and challenging context. A context of extreme unknowns: healthcare for future space missions. What does it mean to efficiently conduct productive futures studies in the face of unknowns with non-experts? The study does not reject expertise per se, however, it does explore how to conduct futures studies with non-experts. XHealth Lab (I, II) and the Collective Imagination Framework (CIF), a new participatory method to engage non-experts in creating alternative futures, has been developed at the Royal College of Art and continues to evolve through practice. Further reading: Pau, Stephanie and Hall, Ashley, 2020, Journal Article, New spaces for healthcare futures studies: Connecting existing theory to deeper participatory practice Futures, 126. pp. 1-12. ISSN 0016-3287 Pau, Stephanie and Hall, Ashley, 2020, Book Section, Beyond speculation: Using imperfect experts for designing the collective futures of healthcare for space In: Christer, Kirsty, Craig, Claire and Chamberlain, Paul, (eds.) Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Design4Health, Amsterdam, 2020. Lab4Living, Sheffield, UK, pp. 45-54. ISBN 978-1-8381117-0-0 XHealth Lab I was part of the Design Research for Change showcase at the London Design Fair 2019 and is covered in the accompanying book edited by Paul A. Rodgers.