Virtual Communities for Chinese Seniors in Social Isolation by Christine Chung
My name is Christine, and welcome to my exhibit! I am a spatial and graphic designer and illustrator based in Toronto. My background is in architectural design and spatial accessibility has played an important role in my work in spatial design, graphics, and signage and wayfinding. Beyond spatial accessibility, I am passionate about gender and cultural identity and want to explore how I can refocus my design practice to consider accessibility and inclusivity within these contexts.
My research looks into the cultural barriers faced by ethnic minority seniors, specifically Chinese, living in the Greater Toronto Area, and the effects of these barriers on health outcome and well-being in this population. The current pandemic has placed many seniors in a state of social isolation, and this can further exacerbate the negative impacts faced by the older Chinese population. My exhibit and MRP are focused on exploring the idea of designing culturally appropriate virtual communities for Chinese seniors living in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to maintain physical and cognitive health while in social isolation.
My exhibit will explore and test approaches to form culturally appropriate virtual community environments. Visitors will be led through activities prompting reflections on inter-generational relationships followed by a prototype demo/usability testing. This will involve testing a preliminary prototype and leaving virtual sticky notes to build a tapestry of memory and personal values. Visitors will be encouraged to complete a feedback survey which will hopefully provide additional insights into the components that will make up a final product.