WEAVE Connecting Generations

Ilnam Kim

See it On Campus: Level 2

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Located in Rennie Hall.

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Weave Mission Statement

Weave mission is to cultivate meaningful connections between the elderly and the community, especially with children in childcare facilities, by providing a service that facilitates the sharing of experiences, knowledge, and activities.

Weave promotes inter-generational connections, preserves the stories and experiences of the elderly, and provides both online and offline services to facilitate meaningful engagement between older adults and children, allowing them to share their moments. The idea of weaving together the threads of different generations to create a rich tapestry of shared experiences. It would highlight the importance of passing down stories and knowledge from one generation to the next, and the joy that comes from connecting with others across age barriers.

Reflecting on my eight-month journey for my final year project at Emily Carr University, I am proud of the depth of research I’ve conducted on intergenerational relationships within communities and the robust design outcomes achieved for the multi-generation service, Weave. It all began with personal anecdotes shared during conversations with elderly individuals who expressed a desire to engage more with their grandchildren. This sparked a fundamental question: Why do we often lack insight into our grandparents’ early lives, including their childhood memories, favourite travel destinations, stories of cherished friendships, or tales of love?

Over the past four months, I delved into the issue of disconnection in intergenerational relationships, meticulously crafting the service blueprint and refining user personas. This period allowed me to revisit the core research questions: Why do elderly individuals wish to share their unique stories, and how can we foster children’s interest in listening to them? Through collaborative sprints and engaging activities, I had the opportunity to sit down with children to understand their relationships with their grandparents. The insights gleaned from their responses enabled me to categorize stories and activities into four distinct themes, providing a framework for both elderly individuals and children to engage more meaningfully.

The online service primarily caters to elderly participants, enabling them to conveniently access the app from anywhere. It features four main key functions: Build, Personalize, Participate, and Share.

The next milestone involved organizing a Research Ethics Board (REB) workshop with elderly participants and children from a local childcare centre, further enriching the service design for intergenerational connections. To facilitate this workshop effectively, I drew from valuable in-class role-play sessions with my peers. Armed with insights from these workshops, I liaised with elderly participants, childcare centre staff, and parents to discuss suitable activities and stories that would captivate the children’s interest. Additionally, I sought guidance from industry professionals to ensure that the proposed service design aligned with best practices in intergenerational activities.

One key aspect that emerged from my research was the importance of creating inclusive spaces for elderly individuals within the community. Weave, with its offline and online services, emerged as a platform to facilitate these connections. The mobile app, in particular, presented a unique opportunity for elderly individuals and the childcare centre community to come together, share authentic stories and activities, and access valuable program resources. However, a pertinent question arose: How can elderly individuals become more comfortable with using the mobile app? To address this, I proposed incorporating intuitive onboarding hand gestures and micro-interactions, simplifying the user experience for elderly users. The recording feature, for instance, would involve a single tap to record and upload stories, fostering seamless sharing within the community.

I am deeply grateful for the support and feedback received from my classmates and mentors throughout this journey. Their participation in numerous user testing sessions has been invaluable in refining the user interface and driving UI developments forward.

In conclusion, my project journey with Weave has been a testament to the transformative power of design thinking in bridging intergenerational gaps and fostering stronger community connections. Through meticulous research, collaborative workshops, and innovative design solutions, I am confident that Weave will serve as a catalyst for meaningful interactions between generations, enriching lives and strengthening communities.

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Ilnam Kim

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Ilnam Kim is a UX/UI designer passionate about people-centred design and services. With over a decade of experience as an Early Childhood Education teacher, he has a deep understanding of human behaviour and the interaction service. Leveraging this expertise, he founded Baby Steps childcare centre in Richmond, Canada, and established VKFGC Korean Language Academy in Burnaby, integrating his UX/UI skills to enhance the learning experience.

Ilnam has served as a finance director at FLUI, where he played a crucial role in managing financial operations and ensuring the success of the student-led hackathon.

Ilnam thrives on receiving new ideas and creating spaces that unlock boundless potential, catering to diverse needs and interests. In his free time, he enjoys painting, exploring great coffee shops, and planning adventurous travels to expand his experiences.

Originally from Seoul, Korea, Ilnam earned his bachelor’s degree in Interaction Design from Emily Carr University of Art and Design

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