Collective Wellbeing

Giving voice to invisible communities

We explore how design can enable a flourishing society and give voice to marginalised and invisible people and communities. We seek to celebrate qualities of compassion, empathy, dignity, reciprocity, conviviality, wisdom and cohesion.

Our research focusses on areas including resilience, ageing and end of life care and how our society can create and support wider compassionate and caring practices at the point of need.

The project, which was seed-funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute in 2014, uses an asset-based approach to identify existing skills, talents and capabilities within communities. We can then devise creative ways to share these strengths with others.

Complex civic challenges have been framed through a series of participatory design inquiries involving doctors in primary and secondary care, clinicians, chaplains and social care professionals.

We explored our research areas using our primary research engagements – or Flurries. In Ritual Respect, we worked with the Scottish Early Pregnancy Network and NHS Grampian to reimagine emotional and social support for women following miscarriage, while in Curated Care, we worked with Highland Hospice in Inverness to investigate volunteering and a democratisation of care in communities.

Through our creative and visual approaches, we unpacked perceptions of these communities, the issues that they face, and their individual and collective capabilities.

Project Contact:

Cara Broadley: [email protected]


Designing Empathy: Ritual Respect

Curated Care


Image Credit: Cara Broadley

Image Credit: Cara Broadley

Image Credit: Cara Broadley