A collaboration between industrial design, computer science, social sciences and industry partners (Philips Design), “Resourceful Ageing” introduces non-humans in the RtD (Research through Design) process with the goal to support the practices of resourcefulness of Third Age adults.

In products designed especially for older people, the inventiveness and resourcefulness of elderly tends to be underestimated. ‘Foolproof’ designs mistakenly assume a stereotype older person that is fragile and passive, and not able to deal with technology.

In this project instead, researchers will find out how to optimize the design of a product to the resourcefulness of older people. Think for example of a simple walking stick, which is not only used as support for walking, but also to point at things, push a button or tap on a wall to communicate with someone else. By setting up a ‘living lab’ of 16 interconnected households, the researchers will map how older people use and ‘misuse’ everyday artefacts, and jointly design prototypes through an accelerated RtD process combining machine learning and ethnographic fieldwork.

The project will run for two years (2016-2018) with a total budget of over 500K and three postdocs.

Stay tuned for the opening of the postdoc positions!