Course of Human Centered Life Design
Hiromi Watanabe, Professor, Course Chair
Message from the Course Chair
The Course of Human Centered Life Design is one of the courses offered in the Graduate School of Welfare Society Design, which was established in 2006. It comprises three courses—Child Support Studies, Elderly/Disabled Support Studies, and Health Design Studies—and consists of master's and doctoral programs. Based on a foundation of expertise, the students perform advanced academic research that can contribute to society. The goal of the Course is to compile such research results into a master’s or doctoral thesis.
Japan will soon find itself confronted by the issues of an aging society with a declining birth rate and a decreasing population on a level that no other country has ever experienced. Amidst the functional decline in regional areas and the shrinking labor force, this will entail multifarious challenges, such as how to extend healthy life expectancy, prevent the need for nursing care, deal with age-related cognitive impairment, and provide adequate childcare support. In order to tackle these challenges, an integrated, interdisciplinary approach is needed, instead of the traditional approach where each academic or scientific field separately explores solutions. The Course places emphasis on promoting research based on a new interdisciplinary approach: the study of human centered life design.
Taking a global perspective, Japan, as a nation with advanced social welfare programs, will likely draw close attention from other Asian countries. In this sense, offering information on the research of human centered life design should be regarded as one of the Course's missions. The students are encouraged to actively engage in international research and information dissemination beyond the borders of Japan.
The Course is looking for research talent with bountiful creativity and a sense of innovation that defies the boundaries of the traditional scope of social welfare. Rather than just focusing on acquiring expertise in social welfare, childcare, nursing, medical care, health, and sports, I hope that you will develop the skills and abilities to formulate new theories for problem solving through the Course.
This program, which most strongly reflects the problems faced by present-day society, is made up of three courses, “Child Support Studies” and “Elderly/Disabled Support Studies,” which cover problems related to an aging society and fewer children, and “Health Design Studies,” which aims to create health―the very basis for a welfare society.
Under the principle of creative design for a welfare society, all courses have curricula that focus on problem solving and practical action, and strive to foster researchers and professionals with great insight who can respond to the needs of the times.