ADA x Health

Through creativity, collaboration and inclusion, we seek and solve problems to improve health and wellbeing. ADA x Health was held from 16 October - 17 November 2023, inviting our community to partner with us in thinking differently about health.

ADA x Health Themes
In 2023, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture (ADA) presented ADA x Health, a month-long program of research collaboration and knowledge sharing that emphasised our imaginative and community-focused ways of improving health.

Taking residency at The Bank from 16 October – 17 November 2023, we invited researchers, students, staff and community partners to discover our creative methodologies, our collaborative approaches and our inclusive strategies for ensuring communities are always front of mind in responses to health priorities.

A bespoke ADA x Health STORYBOX installation outside The Bank shared stories and inspired conversations around the ADA people and projects making an impact in health. Inside The Bank, a program of workshops, meetups and talks amplified ADA's health strengths in the areas of creativity, communitiespolicy, spaces and care.

We invite you to explore the program and partner with us in thinking differently about health.



Monday 23 October - Friday 17 November
8am - 8pm

Experience the ADA x Health STORYBOX installation outside The Bank, which will share stories and inspire conversations around the ADA people and projects making an impact in health.


Too hot to play: designing heat resistant playground materials

Monday 23 October
2pm - 4pm

Playing outdoors is essential for children, but extreme heat and unsuited shade restrict play and socialisation opportunities at local playgrounds. Riccardo Paolini will lead this talk and workshop, where you'll hear about measurements at public playgrounds in the Greater Sydney area and design alternatives to mitigate the risk of exposure to ultraviolet radiation and improve thermal comfort.


Meet the researchers: Diversified 

Tuesday 24 or Monday 30 October
12pm - 2pm

Diversified is an innovative co-design project developing resources to support more inclusive teaching and learning practices for neurodivergent students at UNSW. Come along to meet the Diversified team, and learn about the impact of using STORYBOX (outside The Bank during ADA x Health) and other public space media for engaging neurodivergent community stakeholders, as well as government, and industry groups.

MEET THE RESEARCHERS. No registration required, just drop in.

The future of city wellbeing: provocations hosted by The Cities Institute

Wednesday 25 October
12pm - 1pm

The Cities Institute brings together expert knowledge and lived experiences with those who can implement change, confronting challenges around how we build and inhabit cities. This is achieved via collaboration between practitioners, academics, futurists, policy makers, analysts and experts who take a transdisciplinary, holistic view of the world and our urban landscapes. This event brings six provocations from cities experts across UNSW, interrogated at the conclusion by a panel to determine key health and wellbeing agendas for the Cities Institute.

ROUNDTABLE. No registration required, just drop in.

Drug Policy Modelling Program meetup

Wednesday 25 October
2pm - 3pm

Alcohol and other drug use are complex issues that challenge governments at all levels. What should governments do about alcohol and drugs, and what role does research have in informing government policy? Come along to this meetup led by Claire Wilkinson with the Drug Policy Modelling Program to hear how we do critical alcohol and other drug research.

MEET THE RESEARCHERS. No registration required, just drop in.

Researching LGBTQ+ parents and their children: PhD scholarship info session

Thursday 26 October
1:30pm - 3pm

ADA is launching a RainbowFamilies PhD top-up scholarship fund to support doctoral students taking a humanities, arts or social science approach to researching LGBTQ+ parents and their children in Australia. Meet the team driving this collaboration and learn more about how research can make a difference to the health, wellbeing and inclusion of these families.


Leaving no one behind: is fear of ageing without adequate preparedness and support real?

Friday 27 October
11am - 12pm

This talk will cover equity, diversity and inclusion of diverse communities in Australia from psychosocial, health and medical research perspectives. Limin Mao, Craig Sinclair and Edgar Liu will discuss and imagine appropriate and safe ways to communicate and further motivate diverse communities (e.g., CALD, LGBTIQ+, older people with chronic and complex needs) in the future ageing research field. 


Inventing future pets: thinking about the future of automated care

Friday 27 October
1pm - 2:30pm

Come along to this hands-on workshop led by Megan Rose, where we will explore the future of robot pets in care settings. Invent your own care robot using craft materials as prompts and reflect on how automated technology might help or hinder our care needs and the futures of the animal.

WORKSHOP. Registration is required.

Fact or fiction, or both? Leveraging psycholinguistic approaches to improve the detection and countering of health-related disinformation on social media

Thursday 2 November
11am - 12pm

Driving what the WHO calls an infodemic, disinformation has immediate and enduring effects on targeted individuals, communities, and societies. In this talk, Stephen Doherty will discuss the growing volume and complexity of health-related disinformation on social media, why current approaches are struggling, and how we can improve detection, resilience, and intervention. 


GeneEQUAL: co-producing inclusive, person-centred and respectful genetic health care with and for people with intellectual disability

Friday 3 November
10am - 11:30am

At this event, we will first play a recorded webinar, where our team presents how our inclusive GeneEQUAL team co-produces inclusive, person-centred and respectful genetic health care with and for people with intellectual disability. After that we will show in detail the GeneEQUAL toolkit, and provide space for Q&As.


Health information ecologies: a creative methods workshop

Friday 3 November
2pm - 4pm

Led by Vaughan Wozniak-O'ConnorAsh Watson and Deborah Lupton, this workshop explores the intersection of human-computer interaction, creative research methods, more-than-human theory and health information. Using collage, stamping and creative play, we aim to deepen participants’ connections with their bodies and ecosystems, and in so doing, inspire new ideas for designing for human and planetary health.

WORKSHOP. Registration is required.

Changing Our Ways: a special screening

Monday 6 November
1pm - 2:30pm

Changing Our Ways tells the story of The Big Anxiety festival in Warwick QLD, and a partnership that aimed to support the community to address intergenerational trauma and high rates of indigenous youth suicide.


Why have a festival? From The Big Anxiety to Festival of Care

Monday 6 November
3pm - 5pm

BARC is known for The Big Anxiety mental health and arts festival, which began at UNSW in 2017 and has travelled to Melbourne, Brisbane and regional QLD with a focus on support for trauma and suicide. This year the BARC team collaborated with the Innovation Hub on Festival of Care, which took place in hospitals across Sydney, addressing the wellbeing of healthcare providers. Jill BennettKat BondChloe Cassidy and Gail Kenning will talk about how a creative approach to healthcare can tackle entrenched problems, and transform communities and workplaces, bringing together expertise from arts, design and mental health.

Totems from the Festival of Care will be on show.


The dynamic gender hotline: creative methods for capturing gender experiences

Wednesday 8 November
12pm - 1pm

Join us for an intimate ‘in conversation’ between Brooke Brady and Christy Newman, as they discuss their collaborative work in conceptualising and capturing dynamic expressions and experiences of gender, including voice recordings for use in sound installations.


Meet the CoPQTI: enhancing research practice with LGBTIQ+ communities

Wednesday 8 November
1pm - 2pm

Have a chat with the UNSW Community of Practice for Inclusive Research with Queer, Trans & Intersex people, which brings together academic and professional staff and students with expertise in inclusive approaches to health and engaged research with queer and trans people, and people with innate variations of sex characteristics.


Queering menopause: adapting creative workshops with queer and trans people experiencing menopause

Wednesday 8 November
2pm - 3pm

This speculative codesign workshop led by Katherine MolineKerryn Drysdale and Christy Newman explores the social and radical imaginaries of menopause. Through socially engaged arts and design methodologies it aims to expand the diverse meanings of menopause with queer and trans people.

WORKSHOP. Registration is required.

Bring them home, keep them home: developing Aboriginal-led mechanisms to support restoring children from out-of-home care 

Thursday 9 November
2pm - 3pm

Hear from BJ Newton and Neika Tong on Bring them home, keep them home, Aboriginal-led mixed methods research that centres the voices of Aboriginal communities and parents who have had their children removed by the child protection system. With a strong focus on challenging systems and family advocacy, this research is making significant impact in the sector.  


Researching sex across cultures: Collaborating across disciplines to improve the sexual health of Australia’s Chinese diaspora

Friday 10 November
12pm - 1:30pm

Sex and sexuality are embedded in and enacted through cultural and language systems. Join our roundtable discussion between Horas WongAllie CarterPan WangYingli Sun and Limin Mao to learn about the rich insights gained through combining expertise in Chinese language and culture with sexual health and sexualities research. 

ROUNDTABLE. No registration required, just drop in.

Urban heat exposure and health impacts

Monday 13 November
1pm - 2pm

Many major cities are faced with the compounding effects of climate change and rapid urbanisation. One of the main challenges that result is urban overheating, which leads to negative impacts on human life (deteriorating health, productivity, and well-being). Heat exposure in cities, however, is only the trigger and there are other factors that influence impacts on humans. This presentation by Negin Nazarian discusses the pathways for heat exposure in cities and their impact on human health. 


Inclusive architectural environments for children’s learning

Tuesday 14 November
10am - 12pm or 1pm - 3pm

Jennifer Skattebol and Fatemeh Aminpour will showcase the value of design features and processes that support effective learning environments for neurodiverse students and those with trauma related behaviours. You will get to hear about key design principles and work with open-ended materials to build models of inclusive environments. The workshop will offer experiential insights into how some neurodiverse students experience sound and light.

EXHIBITION + WORKSHOP. Drop ins welcome at any point during these open times.

Neurodiversity and spatial sound: experiences for calm, comfort and connection

Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 November
10am - 4pm

For some neurodivergent people, spatial audio can be an enjoyable experience. Led by Scott Brown and Adam Hulbert, our team is researching novel platforms for delivery spatial audio in a variety of contexts, including classrooms, sporting events and hospitals. Experience our spatial audio installation to explore how we might use this technology to create enjoyable and supportive environments for all users.

EXHIBITION EXPERIENCE. No registration required, just drop in.

Exploring comfort and connection in palliative care: participant produced photographs from a qualitative research study in Sydney

Thursday 16 November
3:30pm - 5pm

COVID-19 has amplified issues of (dis)connection and (dis)comfort for people in palliative care and their families. In this session, the research team led by Emma Kirby will discuss their research project that explored what matters to people as they near the end of life, share some participant-produced photographs, and answer questions about the project.

MEET THE RESEARCHERS. No registration required, just drop in.

Inclusive design using technology and stories: public accessible bathrooms and the wheelchair users’ experience

Friday 17 November
12:30pm - 1:30pm

Accessible bathrooms are built according to international standards as well as local regulations, with a goal to enable independent, safe, and comfortable use of the facilities by people with various disabilities. However, they are often considered non-inclusive from some of their primary users. Join the researchers, Konstantina Vasilakopoulou, Jai Raina and Rahm Ranjan and the participants of the “Accessible public bathrooms” study and hear about the study’s experimental methods and findings.  

TALK + MEET THE RESEARCHERS. No registration required, just drop in. 

The Bank

ADA x Health will take place at The Bank (F22 on the map), the former Commonwealth Bank space behind the Library at the UNSW Kensington campus. The space has been relaunched as a health precincts hub, a visible showcase of the initiatives and activities that support health and partnership with government, industry and education. For more information about The Bank space, please contact

Interested in more activity at The Bank? Check out The Big Anxiety Research Centre Open Studio from 3 – 13 October.