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(PhD) Designing for Social Engagement in Later Life
2022 (Under Examination)

School of Design, RMIT


My PhD research investigates the design of social engagement technologies for later life, demonstrating how modes of interpretative flexibility can support interaction designers in co-creating with ageing communities. This research speaks to two collaborative interdisciplinary projects that interrogate how interaction designers can move beyond perpetuating the digital divide and uneven social participation for older adults. Considering how this phenomenon has been magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic for older Australians, this thesis addresses the lack of understanding of the characteristics and implications of social engagement technologies in later life.

Case Studies:
Probing Social Interactivity in Later life ︎
Pet Playing for Placemaking ︎
Co-designing Participatory Strategies With Older Adults ︎


I acknowledge the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands I conduct my work. I respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging.


©2022 Jacob Sheahan