Let’s sail with CAPTAIN

Building co-creation in the process – A board game method that visualizes issues, creates dialogue and insights.


   Older adults, due to declining age and accompanied physical and cognitive changes, could benefit from additional support to perform daily activities and avoid institutionalization. Relatives are often unable to provide this necessary support. Technology could prove useful, but currently is not designed specifically for older adults.

   This workshop will present the current status of the CAPTAIN project, which uses a truly user-centred co-design approach to create a smart home assistant for older adults. CAPTAIN proposes a “transparent” technology designed to convert the home into a ubiquitous assistant specifically designed to compensate for physical and cognitive impairments to facilitate the performance of ADLs. CAPTAIN makes use of projected augmented reality and real-time 3D sensing technologies to monitor and understand the individual and their natural environment in order to provide contextualized and personalized coaching, support and instructions.


   In this co-design workshop, participants will be asked to consider a number of ‘personas’ (typical older adults) and then discuss how technology could be built to best support them in the following areas of daily life: (i) overall health, (ii) fitness, (iii) nutrition, (iv) cognitive function and (v) emotional wellbeing. 

  The workshop adopts a Participatory Design approach, which implies active involvement and collaboration of the intended users as they take part in the exploration of the potential needs of older adults and the possibilities that the technologies available as part of the CAPTAIN system can bring. In addition, participants will be introduced to the agile development approach that combines incremental, iterative delivery and empirical feedback. 

   Agile methodologies provide opportunities to assess the direction of assistive technology solutions such as those used in CAPTAIN, through shorter development lifecycles suited to innovation in a health and social care settings.


   The workshop simulates the participatory approach and co-creation methodology involving users and other stakeholders in the CAPTAIN co-design process, while continue gathering relevant feedbacks to consider in the project. The workshop will be integrative complying with the first three phases of Design Thinking (Empathize, Define, Ideate). 

    In the 1st moment participants set details of predefined «personas» with which to empathise and create a vision of contextual information about older adults daily challenges, setting likes, dislikes and motivations that will lead to the 2nd moment in which to define key areas, activities or aspects to think support that can be provided or facilitated by CAPTAIN ideated solution, that will be the 3rd and last moment of the session. 

   Apart from the tangible outcomes, is an opportunity to understand why co-creation can generate greater social cohesion and acceptance of the innovative solutions, as well as be a personal empowering process itself.


   Using Design Thinking and participatory research principles, participants will be split into teams of 5-6 and asked to randomly select cards from each of the following bundles: basic details (age, gender, living arrangements etc); physical; cognitive; social; nutrition, goals and interests. 

   Together these cards form an older adult persona with a unique set of hopes and challenges. Teams will be introduced to the technologies available to the CAPTAIN system and asked to identify potential solutions and ‘build/design’ their version of the CAPTAIN system to meet the needs of their persona. 

   The CAPTAIN components will be represented by cards and objects (e.g. toy lamp, toy computer etc.) to make the build part of the workshop more tangible. Afterwards, we will ask participants to create a concept prototype and scenario of the CAPTAIN system using pencils, stickers and magazine images and present the scenario to the others in a short role play. Teams will vote for their preferred solution.


Workshop Facilitators

Evdokimos Konstantinidis

President, European Network of Living Labs, Thess-AHALL Researcher,