In this ongoing research, we aim to enhance training of surgical residents and support ongoing performance development of surgical teams through the development of practical training tools using a serious games approach. This work will complement the Surgical Performance team at St Michael’s hospital, Toronto and OR BlackBox. We will refine translations of theoretical models of resiliency to develop high fidelity serious games.  Enhancing and testing a three level serious game for developing resiliency behaviors among surgical teams.  We will continue to refine existing prototypes for offline physical games and integrate these with existing OR BlackBox and SST software tools for surgical performance.

Photograph of hand with blue marker sketching design.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 2:30pm
Lab Member: 
Kate Sellen

SOONER: Surviving Opioid Overdose With Naloxone Education And Resuscitation


The SOON-ER project aims to design an evidence-based Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) first aid toolkit, to be offered in a range of settings, that allows for ultra-brief training of overdose first aid for potential lay responders with nasal naloxone.

Overdose from opioids such as oxycodone, fentanyl, and heroin are now responsible for over 100,000 deaths per year worldwide. Overdoses in Ontario result in more years of life lost than HIV, pneumonia, or influenza.

Expanding overdose first aid education and naloxone distribution (OEND) to a wider range of settings (such as family medicine, addiction clinics, and emergency departments) could increase the number of potential lay responders reached by OEND programs.

The SOON-ER project seeks to maximize the impact of OEND in emergency departments, family practices, inpatient settings, and opiod substitution clinics by creating a toolkit for overdose first aid by lay responders.

OCAD University led the design phase of the SOON-ER project, addressing the need for an integrated design approach to expanding lay response to overdose, addressing stigma, and creating a open design that can easily be shared and replicated.

The design process included extensive community and stakeholder engagement in iterative workshops over 9 months, engaging over 100 community member and clinicians. The result was the development of an ultra-brief first aid training animation and the creation of a toolkit with nasal naloxone for lay response to overdose, that can be manufactured locally. Key aspects of the design process addressed the context of overdose, stigma, and marginalisation. 

Currently the toolkit is being tested against existing training and access. The success of patient responses to opioid overdose situations will be evaluated and compared in simulated overdose situations.

Project results from SOON-ER are already being translated to provivncial and national intiatives on overdose.

For more information, please visit and

Photograph of Narcan nasal spray
Friday, April 13, 2018 - 11:00am
Lab Member: 
Kate Sellen

Connection, communication and temporality in conversations on death and dying


The objective of this project is to develop improved understanding of communication at end of life in order to enhance public dialogue on end-of-life issues and provide insights on use of communication technology in end-of-life service provision. Specifically, this project aims to:

  1. Develop and adapt art and design techniques for engaging in research on the topic of death and dying
  2. To understand how communication technologies are used during decline and death, especially for families at a distance
  3. To develop an example artifact, based on the outcomes of the research, to be used in stimulating dialogue on new ways of understanding connection and the temporal aspects of death and dying

This project explores themes of technology use, connection, communication, and temporality in the dying process. As seniors make up Canada's fastest growing age group, Canadians will increasingly need to confront the experience of "end of life". While death and dying includes conversations on the concerns of healthcare providers about medical care, a more comprehensive conversation about end-of-life encompasses discussions on a broader range of topics, including family dynamics, interpersonal relationships, life experiences, spiritual values and personal beliefs and preferences.

While technology can be a connector for family at a distance, its role when the pace of decline changes is not well understood. This is an especially relevant concern in a time that increasingly sees adult children living at a distance from their parents. When family members are not physically present their understanding of a relative's decline in health is reduced, impacting their ability to respond appropriately, plan, and equally distribute tasks related to the care of their dying loved one. 

This project brings together families, support groups, caregivers, and healthcare providers to better understand the use of communication technology in connecting families at end-of-life. Clients, family/friends, and providers at the Toronto Central Service Delivery Centre of Saint Elizabeth Health Care were invited to participate in interviews and co-design workshops to identify key concepts and themes regarding communication around decline and death. Data from this research will be integral to creating a "Death, Dying and Design" toolkit, intended for design practitioners to use as guidance when engaging in design research on the difficult topic of end-of-life.

Research creation artifacts generated through this project will enrich public discourse and open up dialogue on end-of-life choices. Facilitating dialogue on these choices, such as the decision to die at home, in hospice, or to forego intensification of care, has the potential to significantly impact policy on the provision of hospice or end-of-life care in the home.

For more information, please visit and The Reflection Room.


This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.




Photograph of a student writing on a whiteboard. Text on the wall describes potential patient reactions to a negative diagnosis
Friday, April 13, 2018 - 10:00am
Lab Member: 
Kate Sellen