Challenges in the welfare sector – some educational perspectives

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: Keitsch, Martina Maria; Sigurjonnson, Johannes
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Section: Design Cultures
Page(s): 544-549
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


The demographic trend in Europe shows a significant increase of the elderly population. A promising approach to alleviate challenges accompanied by this trend is welfare technology which aims, among others, to extend the time when elderly can live autonomously in their preferred environment and in this way delay the time when they need support from public institutions. However, welfare technology per se is enough to face the challenges for supporting elderly in their daily living. A broad approach considering social, economic and ecological dimensions is needed to maximize the success of future developments. Moreover, knowledge generation in the welfare sector is required to meet a variety of interdisciplinary topics - from engineering to aesthetics and social issues, sustainability aspects, stakeholder requirements and user involvement. Following the introduction, the second section of the following paper presents an overview on the Experts in Teamwork (EiT) courses which are mandatory for all Master Students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Section three discusses benefits and challenges of the EiT course “Welfare technology” while section four analyses the course as starting point for integrating welfare technology in the Master studies at the Department of Product Design (IPD) at NTNU and discuss impacts of such a course for industrial design students

Keywords: Welfare technology, experts in teams, Master curricula, group work and cooperation


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