The Value and Place for Empathy in Designing for Older People

Andree Woodcock, Deana McDonagh, Paul Magee, Michael Tovey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

It may be argued that developing empathy for the people we design for is a prerequisite to more effective design outcomes. Although we can intellectually appreciate aging and disability, only when we ‘experience another person’s experience’ can we begin to appreciate the lived experience we are trying to enhance. It is difficult for student designers to gain a perspective of the lived experience of ‘the other’. However, this is the very skill that is needed when they move into professional practice. With an ageing and more discerning population, future designers need to understand both the needs and aspirations of older populations who may experience age related decline in mobility, and life changing illnesses and diseased if they are to design for the whole person. This chapter describes the development of Discrete Learning Interventions (DLIs) to increase the empathic horizon of student designers and engineers, who may not have access to elderly populations. The DLIs used low-level simulations and the GERT (gerontology) aging suit, to complete activities of daily living while experiencing a range of physical impairments. While a relatively short immersion into disability and aging could be considered superficial, the authors believe that low level experiential simulations, together with the GERT suit could be valuable in training Industrial Design students and lead to more age sensitive, inclusive design.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign of Assistive Technology for Ageing Populations
EditorsAndree Woodcock, Louise Moody, Deana McDonagh, Ajita Jain, Lakhmi C. Jain
PublisherSpringer
Pages59-77
Number of pages19
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-26292-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-26291-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameIntelligent Systems Reference Library
Volume167
ISSN (Print)1868-4394
ISSN (Electronic)1868-4408

Fingerprint

empathy
Aging of materials
Geriatrics
Students
gerontology
Values
experience
disability
Product design
simulation
human being
student
learning
engineer
Engineers
illness
Empathy
Older people
Simulation
Gerontology

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Disability
  • Empathy
  • Gerontology
  • Industrial design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences

Cite this

Woodcock, A., McDonagh, D., Magee, P., & Tovey, M. (2020). The Value and Place for Empathy in Designing for Older People. In A. Woodcock, L. Moody, D. McDonagh, A. Jain, & L. C. Jain (Eds.), Design of Assistive Technology for Ageing Populations (1 ed., pp. 59-77). (Intelligent Systems Reference Library; Vol. 167). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26292-1_4

The Value and Place for Empathy in Designing for Older People. / Woodcock, Andree; McDonagh, Deana; Magee, Paul; Tovey, Michael.

Design of Assistive Technology for Ageing Populations. ed. / Andree Woodcock; Louise Moody; Deana McDonagh; Ajita Jain; Lakhmi C. Jain. 1. ed. Springer, 2020. p. 59-77 (Intelligent Systems Reference Library; Vol. 167).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Woodcock, A, McDonagh, D, Magee, P & Tovey, M 2020, The Value and Place for Empathy in Designing for Older People. in A Woodcock, L Moody, D McDonagh, A Jain & LC Jain (eds), Design of Assistive Technology for Ageing Populations. 1 edn, Intelligent Systems Reference Library, vol. 167, Springer, pp. 59-77. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26292-1_4
Woodcock A, McDonagh D, Magee P, Tovey M. The Value and Place for Empathy in Designing for Older People. In Woodcock A, Moody L, McDonagh D, Jain A, Jain LC, editors, Design of Assistive Technology for Ageing Populations. 1 ed. Springer. 2020. p. 59-77. (Intelligent Systems Reference Library). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26292-1_4
Woodcock, Andree ; McDonagh, Deana ; Magee, Paul ; Tovey, Michael. / The Value and Place for Empathy in Designing for Older People. Design of Assistive Technology for Ageing Populations. editor / Andree Woodcock ; Louise Moody ; Deana McDonagh ; Ajita Jain ; Lakhmi C. Jain. 1. ed. Springer, 2020. pp. 59-77 (Intelligent Systems Reference Library).
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