Special Talk with SCDH!  Swiss Vitality Talk x UoC Vol. 5 image
Special Talk with SCDH!  Swiss Vitality Talk x UoC Vol. 5 image

University of Creativity

Special Talk with SCDH! Swiss Vitality Talk x UoC Vol. 5

Cities of Longevity: how Design, Urbanism & Technology can create Ecosystems of Care

The Embassy of Switzerland in Japan is delighted to welcome the Swiss Center for Design and Health, with its focus on the intersection of health and urban, architectural and environmental design, for a talk event on the occasion of its first visit to Japan. This talk event at University of Creativity is an opportunity to explore questions of well-being and longevity from a design perspective, in conversation with Dr. Jan Eckert, Head of the Living Lab at the Swiss Center for Design and Health, Professor Yasuko Akutsu, whose focus is on researching aging & healthcare design, Pasona Group Managing Executive Officer Makiya Nambu, whose company is an important player in advocating for enriched work-styles, and leading Japanese architect Chie Konno, whose practice is deeply connected with the field of care architecture.

Special Talk with SCDH!  Swiss Vitality Talk x UoC Vol. 5 image

In today's fast-paced world, the concept of health and longevity has expanded far beyond the traditional healthcare system, which mostly treats the symptoms of our natural aging process, e.g., with its medicine and drugs. But longevity is a lifelong process, with our health and needs evolving as we age. With an aging population, it becomes imperative to develop sustainable and long-term strategies to address the needs of a generation that will play a dynamic role as both care-seekers and care-providers.

On March 5, join us at University of Creativity for an exchange on how design, architecture, urbanism and new technologies can be used to address health-related challenges in the context of longevity and urbanization together with experts from diverse backgrounds.

By integrating design, architecture, urban planning, and cutting-edge technologies, the event aims to explore how a holistic approach could transform our perception of care for an expanding elderly population. Let's delve together into the transformative potential of integrating these different disciplines in paving the way for a healthier and more prosperous future. We look forward to your presence at this special talk event. 

Date: March 5, 2024 19:00 - 20:30
Venue: University of Creativity
Admission: Free
Registration: click here

The event will be live streamed here (in Japanese) : https://youtube.com/live/o-scVWM_KRg

Featuring: The Swiss Center for Design and Health (Jan Eckert and Minou Afzali), Yasuko Akutsu, Makiya Nambu, and Chie Konno
Moderated by Jonas Pulver (Embassy of Switzerland)

Based in Nidau, the Swiss Center for Design & Health (SCDH) is a national technology competency center and a renowned research institution. As a classical Public Private Partnership, it aims to facilitate knowledge and technology transfer focusing on design and health (and not merely healthcare). Their long-term aim is to contribute to improving the overall life and health of individuals and the planet through evident-based design solutions (physical and non-physical. Their 3’500 m2 Living Lab with workshops allows them to research and prototype on a 1:1 scale for inclusive designs. The center is also an important actor in the domain of health and aging, resonating with Japan’s ‘new form of capitalism’ and society 5.0.

Special Talk with SCDH!  Swiss Vitality Talk x UoC Vol. 5 image

Jan Eckert, Deputy Director of the Swiss Center for Design and Health, Ph.D.

Dr. Jan Eckert is Head of the Living Lab and Deputy Director of the Swiss Center for Design and Health, where he designs pathways for healthy individuals, communities and the planet. Eckert has held various positions in the field of design. He was the Head of the Design Unit at the University of Gothenburg, Full Professor and Head of the Master’s Program in Design at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Senior Researcher at Lucerne’s Competence Center for Typology & Planning in Architecture, Senior Strategy Consultant at Mint Architecture in Zurich, and worked as an Interior Architect in both Switzerland and Germany. He holds a PhD in Design Sciences from the IUAV University of Venice and an international Master’s Degree in Interior Architectural Design from the University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart, the Edinburgh College of Art, and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland. Before that, he studied Interior Architecture at the University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart and at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Minou Afzali, Head of Research at the Swiss Center for Design and Health、Ph.D.

Dr. Minou Afzali is the SCDH Head of Research. Prior to that, she was Deputy Head of the Institute of Design Research and Professor of Social Design at Bern Academy of Applied Sciences. Minou was also the coordinator of an interdisciplinary research group at the Bern University of Applied Sciences including experts from the fields of design, architecture, nursing, medical informatics and economics. Minou holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Bern where she wrote her dissertation on the role of design in culture-specific nursing homes in Switzerland.

Yasuko Akutsu, Aging & Healthcare Design Researcher

Born in Nagoya City, Aichi prefecture, she engaged in product development, exhibition concept planning, and urban planning at an industrial design company. Later on, she ventured into product merchandising, store setup, and healthcare design consulting business. In 2012, she took a visionary step and founded MT Healthcare Design Institute. This endeavor focused on design research for the healthcare sector while simultaneously advocating for the application of design thinking in developing and implementing products and services. In 2017, she initiated Aging Japan. Her passion and expertise now extend far and wide, collaborating extensively domestically and internationally in healthcare product and service design, medical and caregiving equipment evaluation, and personnel development.

Makiya Nambu, Managing Executive Officer

In 2013, Makiya joined Pasona Group Inc. and was involved in new business and regional development projects. From 2018, as General Manager of Global Business Division, Pasona Inc. where he currently belongs, he is responsible for overall management of global business in Japan as well as general management of overseas subsidiaries. From 2022, he was appointed as Managing Executive Officer & Director, General Manager of the International Business Headquarters, Deputy General Manager of the Corporate Planning Headquarters and General Manager of Awaji Future Vision Division of Pasona Group Inc. In the same year, he was appointed as chairman of Awaji Island UNESCO. In 2023, he was appointed as board member of the General Incorporated Association United Nations UNITAR Association. He is in charge of Pasona Group's overseas strategies and the Awaji Future Vision projects.

Chie Konno, Architect, Ph.D.

Chie Konno is leading an architectural design studio called "t e c o" in Japan, and is working as a specially appointed Associate Professor at the Kyoto Institute of Technology. She designs furniture, housing, welfare and public facilities, as well as artworks and community research, creating spaces that are not limited to architecture but cross existing systems. Particularly, in recent years she has completed many projects involving care for the elderly, children and people with disabilities. Especially her recent work "Kasugadai Center Center" is one of her remarkable works in Japan, and won the AIJ Prize 2023.

In collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan / Vitality.Swiss and the Science & Technology Office Tokyo