Aria Chien-Hui Yang

0 Projects


PhD Researcher
Aria Chien-Hui Yang


PhD Title
Towards a social model of care: The case of Scandinavian co-housing for privacy and social interaction in Hong Kong residential care homes

Nursing home, culture change, social model, privacy versus social interaction, indoor localization analysis.

Research Abstract

The majority of nursing homes in Hong Kong adopt the medical model of care which priortises safety and efficiency over the need for privacy and social interaction, or a sense of togetherness, among elderly residents. Literature has indicated that a social model of care has the potential to nurture a homelike environment for an optimal sense of togetherness. The philosophy of a social model of care coincides with that of Scandinavian co-housing, highlighting the importance of a grassroots nursing home typology that preserves self-identity through privacy yet enhances social interaction through resident collaboration.

Despite the fact that ageing in place is quickly gaining recognition as the most preferred model of elderly care, the role of the spatial typology of nursing homes as a social model to bridge the gap between the community and institutional life remains understudied in an Asian context. It is thus significant to have a deeper understanding of the environmental factors of a social-led nursing homes and how they influence social behaviour and togetherness. To address these issues, this study has three objectives. First, to build a case for Scandinavian co-housing in fostering a social model of care for privacy and social interaction in nursing homes. Second, to identify which physical and social design factors influence privacy and social interaction. Third, to construct a framework that transforms nursing home to co-housing.

Research Methodology

This study uses a Mixed Methods Research, with a quantitative research followed by a qualitative research. The former is used to develop a design language for the analysis of privacy conditions and social interaction, whereas the latter is used to validate the design language systems through surveys and co-design interviews.

To test the design language, this study applies twenty parametres, from the four environmental determinants, tracking the indoor location data of fifty elderly residents of a nursing home in Hong Kong. The parametres used were derived primarily from quantitative research methods in active ageing, social contact design, and human mobility theory for conducting analysis of design language in nursing homes. To determine the influence of the design language on privacy conditions, statistical tests such as Multiple Linear Regression, Qualitative Thematic Analysis, Structural Equation Moddeling (SEM) technique Mediation Models were applied to the results of spatial analysis. Space Syntax technique such as Visibility Graph Analysis (VGA) and QGIS were used to visualize the relationships between spatial characteristics and mobility factors within the study site. Social Network Analysis was used to cluster and visualize social interactions that were observed. These multifaceted analyses enable the design language for privacy conditions to be characterised, clustered and assessed based on their spatial qualities.

Results/ Outcomes
1. Translation of co-housing theory into the nursing home environment.
2. Creation of clusters of social-led nursing home typologies.
3. Construct a design framework for social-led nursing homes.

Key publications

Lai, D. W. L., Liu, E. H. S., Lee, K. N. K., & Yang, A. C. H. (Revision in progress). Perspectives on the design of intergenerational play space of community stakeholders. URBAN DESIGN International.

Yang, A. C. H., Lau, N., & Ho, J. C. F. (2020). The Role of Bedroom Privacy in Social Interaction among Elderly Residents in Nursing Homes: An Exploratory Case Study of Hong Kong. Sensors, 20(15), 4101.

Lai, D. W. L., Yang, A. C. H., Yung, E. H. K., & Sun, Y. (2019, November 6). Building liveable urban environments for ageing population: From multi-disciplinary perspectives. 16th International Conference on Urban Health, Xiamen, China.

Yang, A. C. H., Lau, N., & Ma, H. (2019, September 4). Co-living for Ageing in Place: Mapping Privacy and Movement in a Long-Term Care Setting. Design Revolutions. International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference, Manchester, UK.

Lai, D. W. L., & Yang, A. C. H. (2018, July 5). Design and aging: Perspectives of the human services sector. Joint World Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development 2018 (SWSD 2018), Dublin, Ireland.

Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch), Feng Chia University, Taiwan (Distinction)
Master of Design (M. Des), Domus Academy, Italy

Dr. Newman Lau (Chief Supervisor)
Prof. Daniel W.L. Lai (Co-supervisor)
Dr. Jeffrey C. F. Ho (Co-supervisor)

Specialization/ Interests
Nursing home, older people, privacy, social interaction, mobility patterns.

Date of completion
December 2020