Technology as a design strategy for products useful for elderly people in Indian context
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Kumar, Aditya; Das, Amarendra Kumar
Institution: Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India
Section: Design Cultures
The number of Elderly People in India is increasing and this has opened up a new area in products and services to cater to this need. Until now due to the prevailing joint family structure, elderly people were cared for by family members themselves. With the growth of Nuclear Families, where both the husband and wife are bread earners, taking care of the elderly has become a challenge now. In addition to their psychological need, their physical requirements are also to be taken care of. However, products and services to take care of the elderly people are nonexistent in India. To keep them physically independent as long as possible, designers need to design products that are affordable in the Indian context and adaptable by the elderly. This can be only achieved through use of technology and design strategy. Designing of these products and services has to be entirely based on technology. Through scrutinizing and scouting various technologies to create products and services to meet user requirements of elderly people, a range of ideas for products were generated. To physically realize the ideas, available technologies were again studied and products realized. In a few cases, the process generated product specification and forecasting for certain products and services that actually came into being later. The entire process was part of Product Design Education involving master and doctoral research scholar of the department of Design as a part of their academic activity.