Autonomous Ageing: A Role for Industrial Design

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractScientific


The world is ageing rapidly. Between 2000 and 2050, the number of people
aged ≥65 will double as a proportion of the global population, from
7% to 16% respectively. By 2050, for the first time in human history, there
will be more older people than children (aged 0–14 years) in the population.
This challenges society to adapt, in order to maximize the health and
functional capacity of older people, as well as their social participation and
security. The World Report on Ageing and Health (WHO 2015) has outlined
a framework for action to promote Healthy Ageing, built around the
new concept of functional ability. Ageing is a multidimensional process of
change in the physical, mental, and social domain, leading to functional
decline. Applications of design and technology can contribute to ‘autonomous
ageing’, i.e., independent living and life style support, and can compensate
for functional deficits associated with ageing. The focus is on supporting
and reinforcing the reduced physical, mental, social and functional
capacities of older people by applying ground-breaking, innovative design
inclusive engineering methods, always starting with a human-centered integrated
approach. Examples of design for geriatric giants include design
for falls prevention, dementia care and integrated care. The establishment
of collaborative networks between clinicians and designers, academia and
industry, is required to advance design for autonomous ageing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S6-S6
Number of pages1
JournalZeitschrift fuer Gerontologie und Geriatrie
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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