Abstract

This paper discusses an innovative approach to the design of technologies for older people. The approach contains a critique of “gerontechnology” as taking decisions out of the hands of older people and materializing what it means to live healthily and well into “foolproof” designs that easily become inappropriate in the variety of situations in which older people end up using them. The proposed design approach focuses on re-delegating such ethical decisions to the point at which technology is used. It does so by considering technologies as resources that can complement the ageing competences of older people and adapt in a variety of ways. To gain design knowledge of the way existing technologies as well as prototypes function as resources across webs of practices, and the dimensions of ‘openness’ along which they may adapt within such practices, the approach enlists networks of everyday things as co-ethnographers.

Keywords:

ethics; gerontechnology; resourcefulness; thing-ethnographies

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 17th, 12:00 AM

Design for Resourceful Ageing: Intervening in the Ethics of Gerontechnology

This paper discusses an innovative approach to the design of technologies for older people. The approach contains a critique of “gerontechnology” as taking decisions out of the hands of older people and materializing what it means to live healthily and well into “foolproof” designs that easily become inappropriate in the variety of situations in which older people end up using them. The proposed design approach focuses on re-delegating such ethical decisions to the point at which technology is used. It does so by considering technologies as resources that can complement the ageing competences of older people and adapt in a variety of ways. To gain design knowledge of the way existing technologies as well as prototypes function as resources across webs of practices, and the dimensions of ‘openness’ along which they may adapt within such practices, the approach enlists networks of everyday things as co-ethnographers.

 

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