Designing experiences for health and wellbeing

Issue two features articles around the theme of designing better human experiences for health and wellbeing. Innovative research conducted by Dr Jan Golembiewski from Medical Architectures Australasia-Pacific, in the area of environmental design for mental healthcare helps us reflect, through experiential storytelling, on the importance of paying attention to positive environmental ‘triggers for action’ when designing physical spaces to help manage particular patients’ conditions. This article is written about the mental health experience specifically, however environmental design is an issue we can all relate to in our everyday lives (at home, at work, social spots or in places such as hospitals or retreats) when we instinctively notice a connection between our mental health and our surroundings or a healthy sense of place.

Dr Rafael Gomez from Queensland University of Technology, Australia, provides an overview of the human side of the wearable technology trend in the medical industry. Forecasted as the next wave of technological innovations, wearable and physically embedded medical devices to help manage patients’ health conditions are set to change the healthcare experience for both patients and healthcare providers. The idea here is to pay closer attention to how particular patients experience these devices, so they can be designed with empathy for specific patient needs to maintain optimum health.

Nilo Sarraf, a PhD candidate from San Jose State University, California, USA is developing the concept of the emotional search engine and shares ideas on how research from the field of neuroinformation science can help web developers design search engines that are ‘an extension of the human brain’, making these search engines more responsive to a range of human emotions and the impact this can have on information search results.

Blending neuroscience, creative and performing arts and social psychology, Bruno Lavos, Chief Creative Officer from Qualia Design, Portugal gives us his unique reflection on experience design as an ‘Expressive Therapist’ – an emerging practice to help people overcome personal life challenges through empathic, creative expression and storytelling. This issue also features an interview by experience designer

Patricia Gallot-Lavallée from the Paris Institute of Internet and Multimedia, with Sophie Jacqmin, interior designer of the Club Med resort experiences. We have also included a few book excerpts from Patricia’s fantastic book series J’Adooore. We enjoyed reading them over the holidays and with Patricia’s kind permission, we are able to share some more of her great work with our readers.

Following our successful launch last year, we’ve been delighted and very grateful to receive so many supportive and exciting contributions towards expanding this publication in the USA, Australia, Europe and other parts of the world. It has been a wonderful and inspiring experience for us all, and for me as Founding Editor, to meet so many kindred spirits (in person and virtually) – all of us working towards the same ideal: to increase access to research and practice in designing for better human experiences across a wide variety of fields and industries. It is only through developing these amazing connections and collaborations with you all that we can continue to release the magazine. We’ve since built a global team of super talented people, all with a red-hot passion for experience design. In future issues, we look forward to exploring even more mind-blowing insights from experience designers, experimenting and practicing within curious spaces and places.

Dr Faye Miller

Founding Editor, Flow Experiences