Tuesday, 9 December 2008

now AT LAST!

This project concise of design not as an output not as a product but it is a process, a way of thinking about the world, a service a set of interaction!
This brief is more into a journey than into the destination.
By 2020 half the adult population of Britain are going to be over 50, and they going to be living for greater ages! For lot of older people they suffer from loneliness from isolation and from vulnerability. So as designer I have created a service that helps this social group to be more connected to be less vulnerable to be less lonely to be less isolated.

I started by really analyzing the problem! Since there is a lot of different types of older people in that mix in different situations! I focused down the issue, by going out and really meeting with older people, to have their opinion and there point of view in order to have a clearer vision of the problem!

The main challenge was to get the older people involved in my work!
In order to understand what is like living an older person’s life, what do they do during the day! what experiences do they have, feelings perceptions references belong to them as a group rather than you, I started interviewing couple of older people.
The second important thing is that I had to design with them, rather than for them, which is very tricky to do, and the best way to that is invite them to give you ideas, so for you to see the scene quite clearly, explore their ideas,, and your job to build on them, introduce others, and then I moved out of the brief, so I came out with new potential solutions.

I realized that elderly living happily are those who still have daily contact with their family. So I mainly concentrated on bridging the generation gap, which is a very important factor, since the model of extended family living together has now almost vanished in the United Kingdom. In fact increased mobility makes it is less likely that generations of the same family will even live in the same geographical area.
The weakening of these ties results in older people and more vulnerable people in particular, falling outside the care and responsibility of their families. And in this service the younger generation will be the main key in creating relationships for the old people.

And I am Lebanese, living in an environment which provides another perspective; more or less a greater poverty levels, but still having a strong family and a Religious support and network. So I have created a service “get together” which will bring "Larry" (an older person) and "Steve" (a younger person) together and get them both involved! By using Steve’s energy for Larry’s daily need so it will be an exchange for both individuals.

What was really important is that I tested them back with people constantly, in order to get feedback! Not only to the old people themselves but the people around them! Because they have a different perspective!

At last, this project made me look at design not as finished pieces, but to the process itself!
I have read a quote by Paul Arden “You don’t have to be creative to be creative” which I found really true, and similar to the case here, your research and your findings may lead you to greater solutions.

No comments: