The Aging Population Workshop is the 2nd edition of a workshop in design and technology created as the result of a partnership between SENAC University Center and KEA - Copenhagen School of Design and Technology.
The aging population is a global issue as the United Nations Population Fund states, “the world’s population that will soon pass 7 billion is not only growing larger, it is also becoming older. Today, persons aged 60 and over comprise 11 per cent of the world’s population. By 2050, their number will nearly triple to more than 2 billion, making one in five persons in the world 60 or above. The proportion of older persons is increasing at a faster rate than any other age group, and the fastest growing group is that of persons 80 years old or over”.
Thus, to address this issue it is necessary to create new programs and actions to reinforce the ability of older adults to thrive in their homes and cities, and support them in aging maintaining and improving their autonomy and sociability.
We are living in an era of connectivity. Internet of Things (IOT) is getting more and more part of our lives. Technology is rapidly evolving, specially those related to assisting people to get a better life. These include activity trackers paired with mobiles, apps for virtual health coaching, social networks, web sites that help to get access to critical resources, smart objects, sensors and monitors which are able to provide and get information from/to environment and people.
Technology is a way of solving problems. Over the next years designers will have a challenge to take advantages of usable and affordable technologies for improving and empowering the quality of life of people both in private and social environments.
Taking into account all these remarks, during 2 weeks Brazilian/Danish students were put together in 6 interdisciplinary teams and invited to think and to work together to develop design proposals that should empower the aging population in support of autonomous living. Each team was advised by professors from both Institutions in digital technology, graphic design, digital interface design, urban issues, service design, UX and interaction design.
Considering global’s aging challenge, how could usable and affordable technologies help to support the increase of older adults in the global context taking into account autonomy and sociability in social and private space considering body and environment?