Mood boards for their own formative years help students design better for elderly people

DS 76: Proceedings of E&PDE 2013, the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Ireland, 05-06.09.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Eger, Arthur; Mulhof, Huub
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: University of Twente, The Netherlands; 2: D'Adrea & Evers, The Netherlands
Section: Inclusive Design
Page(s): 434-439
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


The global population is aging, especially in western countries. Until recently, elderly people were targeted as one homogeneous group. While this may have worked in the past, for the present, very critical and often financially independent baby boom generation, it does not. Persons in this older generation have different opinions and different needs; they do not want to be treated as one homogeneous group. To meet their requirements, a design method was developed that takes their formative years (the period when people are between 15 and 25 years old greatly influences which preferences and values they will have during the rest of their lives), the effect of their age (when people age, their skills deteriorate) and the influence of the present into account. Students turned out to have some difficulty understanding the meaning of the formative years. Therefore, additional mood boards were created for more recent years (1985-2005). The first section of this paper introduces the design method. The second part presents the addition and effects of the mood boards for the later years.

Keywords: Design methodology, designing for elderly people, formative years, mood boards


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