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  • Arts Health ECRN

LINK Event: Art and Design for Health Reading Group, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Updated: Apr 2, 2020

Blog post by Micheal Tan (School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University)

The inaugural Art and Design for Health (AD4H) Reading Group was held on 23 Aug 2017, 12.30 – 1.30pm, the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM) Library Screening Room, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. We had an encouraging number of participants. Amongst them were 5 undergraduate and 1 graduate students from ADM, a mechanical engineering student and two faculty members.

Following a quick introduction to each other, the Art and Design for Health (AD4H) lab and the Early Career Research Network (ECRN), the group proceeded to look at and discussed excerpt from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Inquiry Report (2017).

Some of the key concepts introduced in the session included Health, Wellbeing and Arts.From the reading, health and wellbeing is framed as multi-dimensional and interdependent of multiple factors over life course. In other words, health is situated and co-created. The article also emphasised the importance of health to social structure, economics and politics. Health is understood to have cumulative influences that spans across individual and collective.

Some of the health challenges raised included: population ageing, prevalence of chronic illness, increased health cost/ burden and quality of life, as well as social disease (e.g. mental health issues, marginalisation). This points the group to reflect on the situation in Singapore.

From the article, Wellbeing is understood to have multiple definitions with it largely alluding to positive functioning, good interpersonal relationship, and resilience. Wellbeing can also be considered through 3 dimensions: Personal, Cultural and Social. This entails notion of confidence, increased optimism, creative skills, achievement, belonging, sociability. The arts are understood to encompass a range of creative practices from visual to performing, literary to media and music. Distinction between ‘therapy’ and ‘therapeutic’ were also explored. Some of the questions the session leading from these concepts include:

  • What can we understand about the way health and wellbeing is engendered/ achieved?

  • Whose health might we be concerned with or have overlooked?

  • How might our art and design practice connect and contribute with health and wellbeing?

Building on the fundamental concepts introduced in this session, the next session will look at Creative practices, Place and Health, to explore how creative practices respond/ address places and the implications of those practices on health through reading and project case studies.

Our next session will be on the 18th September (12:30-13:30). We look forward to seeing you there! If you would like to get in touch please do not hesitate to email me using

Thanks so much to Michael for writing this piece for the blog. If you are interested in blogging about an event please get in touch.

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