Anglia Ruskin University
Download file
Download file
2 files

Methods for co-creating with older adults in living laboratories: a scoping review

journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-30, 17:17 authored by Pamela Knight-Davidson, Pauline Lane, Andrew J. McVicar
The purpose of this literature review is to enhance understanding of methods and processes used in living laboratories, (henceforth living labs), that are concerned with the co-creation of technological and service innovations with older adults. It is relevant to the growing discourse about how to enable the uptake and use of goods and services designed to promote older adults’ independence and how to amplify the potential for economic growth that the demand for such goods and services offers. In this paper, the methods for co-creating with older adults in living labs are explored through a scoping review of the literature. The review utilises a set of tools advanced by Arksey and O’Malley’s (Int J Soc Res Methodol 8(1):19–32, 2005) framework, to collect, evaluate and present the available literature and provide a rigorous and transparent analysis to allow other researchers to replicate the study if they so wish. The findings suggest that a broad range of methods (some of which follow user-centred design and participatory research approaches) are used in living laboratories with older people from being observed interacting with products to them having full involvement in design processes and activities. These might be carried out over short, mid or long durations and in a variety of temporary or permanent settings (e.g., personal homes, mock-up homes, community centres). The analysis also points to greater value being placed on those methods that have high and active user involvement in co-creation, in comparison to methods that have lower engagement with users in the process. However, reflecting on the literature, the authors of this paper suggest that when co-creating with older adults, a level of creative thinking might be necessary, particularly in situations where user needs cannot be readily articulated and this may indicate the need for using less active user involvement methods. This review of the literature suggests that inclusive, user-centred approaches are most conducive with ‘needs finding’ and effective ‘co-creation’ with older adults. Moreover, individual living labs can benefit from adopting a repertoire of methods, borrow from other disciplines, and adapt a flexibility of approach for effective co-creation with older adults.



  • Yes



Page range


Publication title

Health and Technology





File version

  • Accepted version


  • eng

Legacy posted date


Legacy creation date


Legacy Faculty/School/Department

Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care

Usage metrics

    ARU Outputs


    No categories selected