Members of purpleSTARS, Samantha Walker, Ajay Choksi, and Kate Allen have been collaborating with UCL researcher Dr Ranjita Dhital to explore the Architecture of Pharmacies and they now have an exhibition, Counter Culture, at the Bromley By Bow Health Centre.

two exhibition stalls
The purpleSTARS pop-up sensory pharmacy

For this exhibition, purpleSTARS collaborated in the development of a pop-up sensory pharmacy and Samantha Walker shared her research at her local pharmacy. She also designed a series of artworks based on pills that were printed onto the cushions you can see below.

workshop group
Spot Samantha’s colourful cushions

The Counter Culture exhibition also hosted a series of events for everyone to share and discuss ideas for pharmacies of the future. Ajay and Samantha contributed to the discussion and added their ideas to a white feedback coat!

people in room and white coat on stand
The white feedback coat

CAPA Intern Charles Stewart shared his reflections on attending one of the events, Visioning an inclusive and creative future for pharmacies.

This event provided a thought-provoking and inspiring platform to imagine a future where pharmacies play a central role in promoting health equity and inclusivity. The exhibits and discussions emphasised the need for collaboration, creativity, and a commitment to understanding and serving the diverse needs of communities.

Charles Stewart, CAPA intern

The exhibition runs until Friday 7 June 2024.

More Architecture of Pharmacy exhibition events

Review from Poplar local paper

The exhibition is part of the London Festival of Architecture.


On Wednesday 15 May, the Rix Inclusive Research team made a significant impact at the Living Well as You Get Older knowledge exchange event held at the University of Greenwich.

This event was a collaborative effort organised by the Institute for Lifecourse Development (ILD), University of Greenwich, the British Society of Gerontology, purpleSTARS, and the Rix Inclusive Research Institute at the University of East London (UEL).

The event focused on promoting health and wellbeing among older adults with learning disabilities, providing insights, resources, and inspiration to help individuals lead fulfilling lives as they age. It brought together researchers, practitioners, and community members to share knowledge and strategies for healthy aging.

The event started with opening remarks from Prof Claire Monks, Professor of Developmental Psychology and Deputy Head of the ILD. Prof Andrew Clark followed with an introduction to the British Society of Gerontology, enlightening the audience on the society’s role and mission.

We then heard from Prof Lesley Dibley and Dr Genevieve Breau about scheduling regular health check-ups, including an annual health check, and what to expect at these appointments. Their presentations underscored the importance of consistent health monitoring and what individuals should expect during their visits. An important take away from their presentation was that patients don’t always get invited for an annual health check, and therefore it is crucial to remember to contact your GP practice to book an appointment each year.

Following this, Gosia Kwiatkowska, Rix director, led a discussion with Rix co-researchers Ajay, Baljit, Kiran, and Ros. During this session, the co-researchers shared their experiences accessing healthcare services and getting their health checks. Their insights were striking, highlighting areas in need of significant improvement.

4 people next to their posters
Baljit, Ros, Ajay and Kiran with the posters they co-designed

Ajay’s Experience

Ajay shared his experience of going to the hospital with high blood pressure and the challenges he faced during a weekend admission when no learning disability nurse was available to make reasonable adjustments for him. He had to rely on family support and felt tired and anxious, waiting the whole night before being offered a bed to rest on.

Kiran’s Experience

Kiran recounted an incident where a doctor spoke to her dad rather than her during a visit, asking personal questions about her body. Kiran expressed her frustration, emphasizing that as a young woman who can speak for herself, it was inappropriate for the doctor to direct such questions to her father.

Baljit’s Experience

Baljit had similar experiences during her health checks. Both she and Kiran felt they had to assert themselves to ensure doctors spoke directly to them, a practice that should be standard and should not have to be prompted or requested.

Ros’s Experience

Ros commented on the ideal scenario where she could attend appointments independently. However, for this to happen, doctors and health services need more resources to provide easy read information and clear explanations of procedures. She also noted that appointment times are often too short for thorough consultations and that personalised information, rather than generic leaflets, would be more beneficial.

After a lunch break that featured a delightful spread of healthy sandwiches and cakes, including a traditional Indian cake made from semolina and Greek yogurt by Kiran’s mum, the event continued with a presentation by Dr Amanda Amorim Adegboye on healthy eating and maintaining a nutritious diet. Dr Adegboye highlighted the importance of understanding food labels and identifying healthy alternatives, emphasising that appearances can be deceptive.

The co-researchers also shared tips from a leaflet they produced, Tips for living well, on making healthy food more interesting and motivating people to eat healthily. The co-researchers brought their favourite spices, a motivational drinking bottle to encourage hydration, and a healthy eating plate to help balance different food groups.

The Living Well as You Get Older event was a great success, thanks in large part to the contributions of the Rix Inclusive Research team and the participants from purpleSTARS. Their collaborative efforts showcased how inclusive research can effectively promote health and wellbeing among older adults. The posters created by Kiran, Baljit, Ros, and Ajay will hopefully inspire and motivate individuals to take proactive steps towards healthier living as they age.

2 poster designs
Posters designed by Kiran and Baljit
2 poster designs
Posters designed by Ros and Ajay

As we reflect on this event, it is clear that fostering inclusive research and community engagement can lead to meaningful and impactful outcomes. The Rix Inclusive Research team’s dedication to making health information accessible and engaging is a testament to the power of collaboration and the importance of supporting healthy aging for all. We are now planning our exhibition which will take place in late July 2024. Watch this space, and in the meantime, visit our project wiki,

Living Well As You Get Older wiki

Useful Links

It’s hard to believe that only a week ago we were all together in the Royal Docks Centre for Sustainability celebrating 20 years of Rix.

Our 20th anniversary event on Wednesday 1 May, RIX 20!, was a resounding success and was attended by over 120 people, a lively mix of academics, practitioners, people with lived experience of disability, and co-researchers. There was a buzzing atmosphere of inclusion, we were all equal in the room, and this created a real feeling of community and connectedness.

three women
Rix co-researchers Kiran and Baljit enjoying the show

After opening remarks from UEL vice-chancellor and president Prof Amanda Broderick, we were treated to a trip down memory lane with Andy Minnion and Jonty Rix, son of Lord Brian Rix who co-founded the Rix Centre with Andy. They chatted about the challenges along the way and the early experiments with multimedia that would develop into the Multi Media Advocacy approach and the Rix Wiki.

Jane Abraham and Catherine de Haas spoke touchingly about their friend Gloria Ferris and we all admired Gloria’s lovely knitted tea cosy.

Nicola Grove from the Rix team talked about the meaning and purpose of storytelling and shared some videos of interactive story making sessions at Charlton Park Academy.

bust of Lord Rix
Nicola Grove speaks about storytelling under the watchful gaze of Lord Rix

The highlight of the morning was undoubtedly the mesmerising Diabolo performance from Oskar Schenck who had brought along his mum Stana as interpreter and his brother Jakub to capture the event on his phone. Oskar gave a confident and skilful performance with his blue Diabolo set and had the audience gasping with wonder at some of his moves.

man performing diabolo
Oskar performs his Diabolo magic

During and after lunch there were a series of workshops for people to enjoy before coming back together for a delightfully sweary presentation from Not Your Circus Dog Collective! who have been touring their cabaret show, Not F**kin’ Sorry! Many thanks to the show’s co-writer and director, Liselle Terret, for supporting the troupe with their brilliantly outrageous performance.

cabaret troupe
Not Your Circus Dog Collective! show us what they think
woman gestures with hands
Everyone joined in the fun
man with VR headset
The VR workshop proved to be very popular

The event ended with the book launch for Rights in Practice for People with a Learning Disability: Stories of Citizenship. Liz Tilly and Jan Walmsley talked about how they came to write the book and invited several of the people whose voices are captured in the book to talk about their experience. Our Rix co-researchers, who had co-written a chapter about employment supported by Gosia Kwiatkowska and Kanchan Kerai, also shared their experiences with the audience.

The Rix team would like to thank all of those who attended RIX 20!, including the stall holders with their share and tell tables, the amazing performers, all our friends from the local community, and the UEL staff and social work students who helped us with the event. 25 here we come!