"As a member of the creative industry, a designer can identify social needs and be the strategist to address social problems by creativity." Having worked as a design researcher, educator and social designer for over 15 years, Dr Yanki Lee believes design can inspire citizen innovation and drive social innovation for all.
During her study and work in the UK, her mentor Professor Roger Coleman introduced to her the new idea of "Design for Our Future Selves" which changed her view towards design radically. "As time passes, we will get old and become future elderly. Design should focus not only on present changes but also for the future." Dr Lee thus established a social design agency Enable Foundation in Hong Kong which embraces the principles of "design social innovation ecosystems", "design with you" and "design for our future selves". The non-profit agency works together with various parties to explore new possibilities of social innovation. "It's an experiment. There's no reference or example to follow. We hope our agency can inspire citizens with shared values and beliefs to drive social design."
Being close to her grandparents, Dr Lee wants to change the perception of "boring elderly" and co-creates with the public creative initiatives for our future selves. In the flagship programme Social Innovation Design Lab (SI.DLab), senior citizens are invited to co-create and prototype new solutions with young designers to address death, dementia and productive/creative ageing.
Scope of Services
social and design research
- 100in1day‧Hong Kong (MaD 2016 - Civic Interventions, Villagers' Assemblies, 24/01/2016)
The Works: Social Design, a project between design students and the elderly (RTHK, 25/02/2015)