Connecting Spaces and Generations

 

 

 

 

Daily Living: Solving tech challenges together

In a digitalised world where all kinds of services are carried out online, seniors can find it daunting to complete routine tasks like paying bills. It can even be a source of frustration and helplessness.

This was what Team Face Off from Edgefield Primary School discovered in their interview with a senior, Madam Yap Sew King.

 

As participants in the Inclusive Spaces Empactathon®, Team Face Off had a mission to identify challenges faced by seniors in daily living and propose solutions to meet their needs.

Together with their youth mentor Kenny, the team devised the “Tech-Bench cum Interactive Table”. Marked a distinctive yellow in malls – whether at a cosy corner or in a cafe – the table is a one-stop help centre where seniors can get tech assistance with their mobile devices. Complete with charging outlets and newspapers, the station will be a rejuvenating spot for the mind.

At the ring of a bell, student volunteers or cafe staff will be alerted to a senior in need and render their services, forging intergenerational bonds. The mall will never be the same again.

 

Team Face Off from Edgefield Primary School with the prototype of their project. Called “Tech-Bench cum Interactive Table”, it is a one-stop help centre where seniors can get tech assistance with their mobile devices.

 

 

 

THE POWER OF TECH, WITH CREATIVITY AND NOSTALGIA

 

Team Face Off won in the Daily Living category, but there were some other fantastic submissions as well. Another finalist for the category was Team Sympathetic Yankees from Orchid Park Secondary School. Their project, Instagenerawalk, is a multi-use social space where different generations can share tech skills and heritage stories with one another, recreating the kampung spirit.

 

 

Team Sympathetic Yankees from Orchid Park Secondary School with the prototype of their project Instagenerawalk, a multi-use social space where different generations can share tech skills and heritage stories with one another, recreating the kampung spirit.

Other entries also blended technology and creativity well. Such ideas included a toilet queueing system supported by a mobile app from another Edgefield Primary team, and a virtual reality traveling experience from Orchid Park Secondary as well.

 

Nostalgia was also a prominent theme in the category, with entries such as a 1980s themed cafe.

 

Through the Empactathon®, participants have become empathic changemakers by being more attuned to the needs and issues of seniors.

 

 

 

 

Mental Well-being: A sense of purpose

For winning team Secret Cake from Yumin Primary School, it was their understanding of how seniors wanted to stay engaged and active that sparked their idea. Ms Serene, who spoke candidly to them about her aspirations, inspired them to name their project “A Place to Feel Alive”.

“After understanding her more, we realised that she wants to keep her mind active and body fit. She shared how being with children makes her ‘feel alive’, and that many people her age do not have a ‘purpose’ in life and how it affects their mental health,” the team noted in their report. Secret Cake found that the secret ingredient to good senior mental health is intergenerational bonding.

 

A LIFE CLUB FOR SENIORS

The result was a “club-like” solution where a social group, formed in malls or condominiums for seniors, provides child-minding services and shares their life stories. The project solves another issue: Young parents busy shopping at the malls can now leave their kids in responsible hands!

The highlight could take the form of a monthly club performance, “Seniors Got Talent”, where seniors are given the opportunity to show their talents at the premises. 

 

BLENDING NATURE AND LEISURE

 

Besides sharing their talents on stage, the elderly also has much to offer in other aspects. This was what Team Love Ambassadors from Orchid Park Secondary identified with their submission FarmLOVE@Kitchen.

 

The idea calls for a space in the mall dedicated to seniors with an edible garden and outdoor community kitchen.

 

Other entries include a hotel dedicated to well-being and intergenerational activities. The Candy Gem Hotel by Team Candy Gem from Yumin Primary promotes the outdoors and a green lifestyle for seniors to enjoy, with facilities such as tree houses, solar-powered treadmills and meditation gardens. 

Team Love Ambassadors from Orchid Park Secondary School. The team’s idea calls for a space in the mall dedicated to seniors with an edible garden and outdoor community kitchen

A protoype of FarmLOVE@KITCHEN created by Team Love Ambassadors from Orchid Park Secondary.

Other entries include a hotel dedicated to well-being and intergenerational activities. The Candy Gem Hotel by Team Candy Gem from Yumin Primary promotes the outdoors and a green lifestyle for seniors to enjoy, with facilities such as tree houses, solar-powered treadmills and meditation gardens. 

 

 

 

 

Social Living: Generating fulfilment

With the stay-home periods brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many Singaporeans, both young and old, turned to tending their growing gardens. Riding on this trend, the winner of the Social Living category, Team Neutral Storm from Westwood Secondary, was inspired to use green spaces as a way to build intergenerational bonds.

Their project, Neutral Storm Village, aims to integrate more green spaces into properties. Such spaces can also serve as a social space for seniors to teach younger people the art of gardening.

 

MIX OF OLD AND NEW

 

“We want to design a space that has various activities to allow retired senior citizens to have some fun with other generations in the same community, to expand their social circle and bond with their neighbours,” wrote the team in their project submission. 

 

The village will also consist of various “kampung houses” such as a card games station and a library where seniors can read to their grandchildren. It will even have a tech component where all generations can enjoy video gaming and movie screenings.

 

 

The prototype of Neutral Storm Village showing the library.

Neutral Storm Village will have an exercise corner.

 

 

BACK IN THE DAY

 

There were also other entries that showcased creative ways for seniors to socialise. Finalists The 3Cs from Yumin Primary noted that more could be done for  seniors such as enhancing the food options available at malls and offering them priority queue. 

 

 

The 3Cs team from Yumin Primary School with the prototype of their project, “Back In The Day”.

Their idea is encapsulated by a cafe called Back in The Day, which serves healthy, traditional food and resembles a void deck complete with tables with the signature tiled chessboard pattern. Other ideas also invoked nostalgia, such as a kampung corner. Developing intergenerational bonding through an edible garden was another submission in the category.

 

“To make a place that is inclusive for the elderly, we have to think and feel like an elderly,” wrote The 3Cs in their submission. Indeed, empathy is the big first step behind Inclusive Spaces.

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