Multigenerational Living & Learning

Designing multigenerational living spaces

Communities are often segregated by age. In the context of an adult social care system that is under unprecedented pressure, new models of living and learning are ripe for exploration. This programme investigates multigenerational living and care models, technologies for adult social care and resultant learning opportunities.

Programme overview

Our research initiatives respond to Cornwall’s socio-cultural challenges, and opportunities afforded by the regions digital drive. We confront the issues of a struggling healthcase system, an aging population that is growing (Cornwall’s over 85 population set to rise by 139% by 2035) and the rise in social isolation – the largest contributing factor to deterioration in wellbeing. 

By harnessing emerging technologies; connecting and co-creating with potential stakeholders; utilising the potential of the creative industries, existing service infrastructures and networks; and initiating ways of securing post-EU/Third Stream/commercial sector funding, we aim to contribute to an ecosystem of health, wellbeing and care that rapidly becomes predictive, anticipatory, self-managing and self-maintaining. 

We are: 

  • Exploring our health and care challenges
  • Changing the conversations
  • Adopting through adapting
  • Innovating past risk
  • Drawing on the uniqueness of Cornwall 
  • Capturing the power of community voice
  • Driving opportunities and collaborations
  • Co-creating solutions 
  • Challenging the status quo
  • Capturing global and local disruption



The key questions we explore are:

  • How can technology and its content help to bridge the gaps between different generations living apart?
  • How can multigenerational living solutions alleviate the pressure on social care expenditure?
  • How can communities of different generations live, learn and create together to counteract social disintegration?
  • How can technology be used to enrich a 21st century multigenerational care environment? 
  • How can we harness creative practice to design innovative solutions to the multigenerational living and learning challenge?
  • How can we reimagine care home and home environments to identify new opportunities to improve qualities of life?
  • How can the performing arts in an intergenerational context have a beneficial impact on physical/mental health, community creation and cohesion, and pedagogy and student learning? 
  • What are the factors affecting success or failure of a ‘manufactured’ community?

Our team has already helped older generations stay connected through digital means, for example by addressing online enquiry challenges for Cornwall Council. We have worked to combat multigenerational living challenges, including working with the Pydar Street redevelopment initiative to scope in inter-generational support opportunities. And we have hosted a series of events that support communities through memory cafes, and led on intiatives that connect specialists addressing Alzheimer's and mental health challenges internationally. 

Programme lead

Professor Paul Springer
Professor Paul Springer

Professor Paul Springer

Paul Springer is Director of the School of Communication and a lead for the Multigenerational Living & Learning research prgramme. He specialises in pioneering forms of commercial communication and innovative modes of education and has been an advisor to multinational communications network Havas, The China Advertising Association as well as being a Lead Consultant for Saudi Arabia's first specialist college of advertising.

Professor Paul Springer


Some of the projects within this programme include:

A 360 degree image of the upstairs glass roofed cafe at Falmouth campus.
Virtual Tour fox cafe 360 upstairs

Adaptable Living

The Adaptable Living project reimagines the way in which living space may be designed to enable resi...

Adaptable Living

PhD & MPhil researchers

Our PhD and Mphil researchers aligning with the Multigenerational Living & Learning programme include:

NameThesis title
Timothy JonesArt-full Conversations: Facilitating the use of digital images of fine art at a Memory Café.
 Emma WinspearA cross-disciplinary approach for implementing communal music-based workshops into social care and pedagogy. How can multigenerational ‘musicking’ affect empathy, emotional well-being and social affiliation? 
Tamarin HarviewThe Impact of Digital Technology on the Wellbeing of Residents in a Residential Care Home.

Research opportunities 

Alignment criteria​

We welcome applications for PhD or MPhil that align with the Creative Industries Futures programme. ​

How to apply​

Applicants may apply by submitting a project idea of their own or by responding to one of our Falmouth Doctoral Project briefs.

View all opportunities 

Research Repository

Falmouth University’s Research Repository (FURR) hosts, preserves and provides open access to our publicly available collection of University produced research materials, for the benefit of staff students, the wider field and general public.

Multigenerational Living & Learning in FURR

Access all current and historic research materials published in association with the Multigenerational Living & Learning programme and its portfolio of research and innovation projects.​

Passing the Parcel at Penryn Memory Cafe