Studio-L is a community design organisation based in Japan.
Our aim is to empower people from local communities to think, talk and realise their future through design. Since 2005 Studio-L has been involved with several projects which require civic participation and collaboration on park management, masterplan planning, revitalisation of the high streets, management of public facilities and system designs for social welfare and education. We collaborate with local authorities, central government and private companies to encourage civic engagement and participation in a variety of areas which relate to people’s needs and lives.

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The Design School of Care and Welfare

The ageing population of Japan is increasing at a fast pace, making it difficult to recruit enough care workers to keep up with the demand. One of the reasons why there is a shortage of carers, is because of the Japanese image and the perception of care-worker. This project was designed to change that.

The Design School of Care and Welfare has challenged participants to imagine their ideal life combined with their future. The participants were made up of care-workers, non-care workers, students, elderly people and family carers. They were set to work designing new products and services to help aid an ideal life, guided by professional designers. These designs were then exhibited in the Oi Oi Oiten Exhibition and managed to reach a sizeable audience.

8 workshops in 8 different areas

The schools consisted of 8 consecutive workshops which included work experience at the nursing homes, brain storming sessions, ideation, prototyping together with the execution of the ideas. We had approximately 470 participants attend the local schools across 8 different areas of Japan.

67 teams of people determined to change the future

The participants all came from different backgrounds with varied life experiences. They needed to learn how to talk with each-other and how to become a team that thinks together and can manifest and realise their ideas and goals. Altogether there were 67 teams that presented their ideas to the nation.

Process to become a designer

The participants went through the same design experience and process that professional designers usually go through. They had lots of tough feedback regarding their ideas from the specialists on how to make improvements and prototyping their samples with professional designers. This process assisted the participants to become designers.

Draw people’s attention to Care and Welfare

Before the exhibition, the participants had to present their ideas to the people on the street. This was done by drawing their attention to care and welfare, which is the first step in helping to change people’s perception and fixed images of what these words really mean.

Oi Oi Oiten exhibition was held between 21st and 25th of March 2019. 67 teams executed their ideas and exhibited them inside a dedicated gallery. We also invited 10 artists to exhibit their works and held 25 separate discussions over the course of 5 days. More than 16,000 people visited the gallery and approximately 90 % of the attendees said that their image and perception towards ageing and carers had been changed.

After the exhibition, the teams continued to update their projects. Some teams even managed to move on from the experimental phase.
Me and My dad’s dementia, is a card game that helps families to gain an understanding and what they can come to expect and experience from a family member in the early stages of dementia. In July 2020 this product become a great success as the sales continue to rise. These small steps would lead to the future of care and welfare.