Caroline DU-PhD. Design for Ageing

0 Projects


PhD Researcher

Ms Caroline DU



Dr. Brian LEE (Chief Supervisor)

Prof. Kin Wai Michael SIU (Co-supervisor)




PhD Research Title

Quality of Life Towards Active Ageing: A Design Framework of Product-Service-System Enhancing Bathing Experience of Future Elderly Nursing Homes



BA & MA in Art Design, Soochow University, China;

Certificate of Exchange Program, Université de Toulouse, France & National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan.


Specialisation / Interests

Design Research with & for Ageing Communities; Product-Service-System (PSS) Design; Ageing Society; Design for Quality of Life (QoL); Nursing Homes (NHs);  Design for Ageing; Active Ageing; Quality of Care(QoC); Activities of Daily Livings (ADLs) ; Inter-disciplinary Research; Sociology of Ageing; Gerontology; 

Research Abstract 

This PhD research aims to explore possible design opportunities that enhance elderly residents’ bathing experience in Nursing Homes (NHs) and to propose possible directions for the Product-Service-System design framework under the model of Quality of Life (QoL). Three research gaps are proposed in this study. Firstly, in the theoretical aspect, current models of QoL are seldom introduced or lack in-depth discussions in design research. Besides, finding an appropriate theoretical basis for ageing-related projects seems challenging for designer practitioners. Secondly, in perspective, bathing, one of the primary care tasks, may be related to a series of factors from elderly residents’ subjective feelings, care workers’ working experiences, and management of the whole service flow with undefined reasons. Thirdly, in the application aspect, there is a need for systematic design solutions to improve the bathing experience for all stakeholders.

Under the selected model of QoL, this PhD study would explore possible directions of the Product-Service-System (PSS) design framework for future Nursing Homes, which provide a holistic view through inter-disciplinary studies to promote elderly residents' life to achieve Active Ageing.

Research Methods

Ethnography; Semi-structured interviews; Participatory observation; Thematic analysis.

The research design is based on the characteristic of paradigm and research approaches. It highlights the whole research will be under the worldview of constructivism and conducted in exploratory design by mixed methods because the proposed topic is cross-disciplinary research that combines the concept of QoL with the PSS design for the elderly residents’ bathing experience in the fields of design, sociology, and healthcare. It is essentially an inductive process to analyse and conclude the relationship between them. While it also would like to make contributions to the bathing-related PSS design in the design field, so the mixed methods are adopted in the exploratory procedures with the guide of qualitative approach and supplement of quantitative approach.