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Towards An Age-Friendly Design Lens


This paper discusses the growing importance of design to influencing healthy ageing outcomes in the future, while acknowledging past shortcoming and limitations in the design process through a critical review of practice and research. It explores a range of different design approaches which have been aimed at supporting people as they age, and looks at variations in sectoral expertise within the design discipline that affect our lives, from architecture to fashion. The paper makes the case for developing an age-friendly design lens to reorient the work of designers around the changing needs of older people, based on the values of inclusive design. The lens taking inspiration from disability models encourages designers to adopt a social model of ageing and develop a participatory, empathic and mainstream approach – learning from diverse lived experiences, seeing the positives in older people and building on strengths rather than deficits. The paper concludes by casting the age-friendly design lens over the field of designing digital technologies.

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Correspondence to Chris McGinley.

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McGinley, C., Myerson, J., Briscoe, G. et al. Towards An Age-Friendly Design Lens. Population Ageing 15, 541–556 (2022).

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