Welcome to the Creative engAGE Living Lab (ELL)
The Creative engAGE Living Lab (ELL) is a Concordia University research project funded by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Volet Santé.
This project began with a solution to the current public health crisis caused by social isolation and loneliness experienced by record numbers of older adults, that is now being amplified by a world pandemic and global climate change.
The ELL opened its doors in January 2020 in a neighbourhood mall in Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec, where older adults had already been gathering for years to exercise, talk, and solve problems over cups of coffee shared with friends.
Starting with the community-defined evidence that this site was already successfully serving as a gathering place for older adults, our team of university researchers set up a social infrastructure to informally learn more about how this was working.
We invited participation from older adults (>60) to join in a rich sensory world of making and exploring science through diverse creative public practices including music, visual arts, literature, film, digital technologies, dance, and sand play.
Our plan was to bring together scientific knowledge and creative practices from intersectoral scholars, representing Health Sciences, Fine Arts, Business, Social Sciences, Engineering and Digital Technologies that respond to themes based on older adults’ concerns and interests.
This ready-for-action plan animates a specific type of physical community space that we called a creative living lab, for co-creation, design and dissemination of university-community research. This interactive indoor enrichment park for seniors includes an ongoing art hive and “media spa,” and provides a space where older adults were supported in hosting their own gatherings and skill sharing events. A place where the oldest-older adults and scientists alike collaborate and share their inventive projects with the public to produce a new synergy for health and wellbeing innovation for all.
Engaging in the digital era
When the pandemic caused our public site to be locked down, the engAGE Living Lab (ELL) team spurred into action to reposition its in-person activities online.
Now, almost a year later, we continue to offer a rich and diverse online programming inspired by our community of older adults; while activating a new research-based phase in our offerings.
Re-engaging in 2021
We are pleased to announce that our programming is re-emerging at the Cavendish Mall. We are open three days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12 to 5 pm. We hope to see you soon.