Transforming Coffee Shop Spaces into Community Hubs to Promote Healthy Aging in the Neighbourhood
TOUCHpoint@AMK433 started as a Community Enablement Project (CEP) to build a precinct in Ang Mo Kio that supports the needs of seniors to age-in-community. The existing space at TOUCHpoint @ AMK433 needs to be increased for future group activities. Meanwhile, the downtime of various coffee shops in the area reflects their status as underutilised assets in the precinct. Leveraging the coffee shop as a natural gathering spot for the community, how about we engage residents and connect to new social networks in an extended way to broaden TOUCH's reach and nudge the community towards healthier outcomes?
Starting with 1-to-1 interviews with residents, community connectors and volunteers to identify the existing needs of the seniors in the neighbourhood regarding a healthy lifestyle; we ran several sensemaking workshops, ideation workshops with Lego, and subsequent prototyping focus group discussions sessions to refine the project ideas. Holding all the engagement sessions at a local coffee shop not only allowed stakeholders to reimagine the experience on-site but also raised the curiosity and anticipation of the residents for the transformation project.
Our team have spent considerable time on the ground, building rapport with the residents, shop keepers and coffee shop owners to understand their challenges and obtain their buy-ins. This proves valuable for our client, whose existing reach could only cover a specific sector of beneficiaries and may need to gain the know-how to engage the wider community as part of the design thinking process. This allows the engagement sessions to be constructive in achieving the project goals.