Singapore: a city for people aging gracefully

DesignSingapore Council


DesignSingapore Council asked Experientia to explore health and wellness for the elderly in the Singaporean public sector.

We conducted ethnographic research and participatory design workshops, as part of a drive to develop design-led innovation for the health industry.

3 things to know

Design ethnography and service design

Experientia explored current healthcare experiences of the aging population in Singapore through design ethnography identify opportunities for design-driven innovation in public healthcare. We identified opportunity areas for design-driven innovation in the Singaporean public healthcare space to help Singapore create the right conditions to support a rapidly aging society.

Interactive map of findings

The interactive map allows people to browse the personas alongside field research videos, that communicate the research findings in the participants’ own words.

Long lasting impact

The findings have been incorporated in the Health Ministry’s ongoing Action Plan For Successful Ageing, and guided the development of a new residential impact.



By 2030, Singapore will experience a profound shift in its age demographics with the elderly population increasing by three times. This calls for a radical change in perspective on how care can be better delivered to the elderly.


To prepare and plan for that change, The DesignSingapore Council’s Asian Insights and Design Innovation (AIDI) programme embarked on a Rethinking Health and Wellness for the Elderly project to look into developing design solutions that better meet the needs of the elderly in Singapore, and asked Experientia to carry out an extensive research and analysis project , including a workshop with participating public agencies and services from the Singapore healthcare system.


The project started with an understanding of global trends in elderly healthcare services. This was then followed by a design ethnography study through interviews and shadowing – to gather deep qualitative insights into the habits and behaviours of the elderly and to identify trends, behaviors and gaps in the interaction between elderly people and the healthcare system. From the observations, we learned about how the elderly think, act and feel towards managing their health at home and their needs and wants.

Experientia developed 8 personas to begin the process of designing for behavioural change and explore solutions like ageing-in-place, peer-to-peer support and community platforms to solve some of the elderly healthcare issues. Participatory workshops allowed stakeholders from the public to be part of this process generating 12 main user-centred design concepts. In two multi-day innovation workshops with healthcare and public service stakeholders, representatives from the healthcare industry and public sector joined Experientia and DesignSingapore Council in Singapore. Here we introduced the challenges the participants face on a daily basis, showing video clips from the research to reveal the human faces behind the research. The stakeholders developed service concepts that would suit the unique characteristics of Singapore.


Experientia team designed an interactive map of findings, a rich database resource that invites stakeholders to explore and be inspired to innovate and design relevant solutions for the ageing population. The concepts were useful to guide Singaporean healthcare agencies to create strategies, policies and services. The results of the project were compiled in a handy publication for further use in Singapore and freely available for anyone. As part of the project, Experientia also worked with Singaporean agencies and ministries to devise community-focused concepts for elderly residents in the Kampung Admiralty residential block. 
Co-creation workshops prototyped key policy decisions on ageing, health and housing.


Experientia’s report recommendations were widely reported in the Singapore press and were integrated in the Government’s $3billion Action Plan for Successful Ageing (website – pdf – press release – press article). The Kampung Admiralty residential block has been completed. It incorporated many of the concept ideas that were co-created in the Experientia-lead workshops.