Objects, Practices, Experiences and Networks









Design for Resourceful Ageing: Intervening in the Ethics of Gerontechnology 

Elisa Giaccardi, Lenneke Kuijer, Louis Neven 

TU Delft, TU Eindhoven, Avans Hogeschool Breda


Keywords: ethics; gerontechnology; resourcefulness; thing-ethnographies


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. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Giaccardi, E., Kuijer, L., Neven, L. (2016). Design for Resourceful Ageing: Intervening in the Ethics of Gerontechnology. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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