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2022 To be Submitted
Gaining Resolution: The Role of Probes in Designing for Ageing.
Sheahan., J.

Frontiers in Sociology,
Socio-Gerontechnology


In seeking to support healthy ageing, designers have struggled to reduce their assumptions about older adults, such that they have been seen to interpret the worlds of later life through unfiltered images, engage with stigmas, and ultimately diminish the technologies we offer. This article seeks to critically analyse this state of the art and engage a cultural probe study to create higher resolution images, as a method of inclusive design research. Through reflexive thematic analysis of these materials, this case study offers designers pathways to understanding and including older adults in their work, examining the resolution of our images of ageing.


2022 Forthcoming
Towards Re-Imagining Industrial Design Education for the Contemporary Period
Dim, W., de Vere, I., Sheahan., J.

22nd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education


As the field of Industrial Design moves beyond its industrial manufacturing roots, exploration of curricula that anticipates diverse participation and complexity in creative innovation is still emergent in this era of education. This paper discusses the adoption of the RMIT University, My First 6 Months (MF6M) first-year learner-centred pedagogical alignment into the 2nd and 3rd year vertically integrated studio environment, through the case study ‘Social Studio – Enabling an Ageing Workforce’ – a collaborative partnership with the Innovation Centre of WorkSafe Victoria, a state government safety regulatory body. We found the approach required less teaching staff intervention and gave more flexibility to students, reinforcing notions of trust and self-efficacy in learning.


2022 Forthcoming
Designing To Enable an Ageing Workforce
de Vere, I., Dim, W., Sheahan., J.


22nd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education

An ageing workforce and a dwindling itinerate manual labour supply have long term implications to the commercial viability of industries that require sustained physical activities. These trends are driving two significant concerns for an ageing workforce: maintaining the health of increasingly older workers and dealing with the complications of participation in the labour force for these individuals. This paper details a teaching and research project conducted in collaboration between the Safeness by Design initiative and the Innovation Centre of WorkSafe Victoria, a government regulatory body that enforces health and safety policy. The project aimed at moving the sphere of influence of WorkSafe from reactive policing activities towards preemptive action, compelling innovation and new discourses on workplace safeness, employment longevity and the empowerment of ageing workers. 


Australia’s population is ageing, but with enhanced health prospects and insufficient retirement funds, and industries impacted by a dwindling itinerate manual labour supply, workers will want, and may need, to remain in the workforce for longer. This research, Enabling an Ageing Workforce, recognises the issues facing the older worker across a range of different workplace contexts, This project investigates ageing, wellbeing, and workplace safeness within specific industries to identify areas of concern, opportunities for design intervention, and the proposal of future-focused design solutions.




2021 Journal Article
The Art of Tacit Learning in Serious Location-based Games. ︎
Sheahan, J., Davies, H., Hjorth, L.

Frontiers in Education,
Serious Location Based Games

Over the past two decades, location-based games have moved from media art fringes to the mass cultural mainstream. Through their locative affordances, these game types enable practices of wayfaring and placemaking, with the capacity to deliver powerful tacit knowledge. These affordances suggest the potential for the development of location-based games in educational contexts. This paper presents three cases studies—TIMeR and Wayfinder Live and Pet Playing for Placemaking—to illustrate how each uses elements of wayfaring and placemaking to bring new opportunities for education through a tacit knowledge approach.


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