Design for Resourceful Ageing: Intervening in the Ethics of Gerontechnology

Elisa Giaccardi, Lenneke Kuijer, Louis Neven

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS 2016
Subtitle of host publicationDesign + Reseach + Society, Future-Focused Thinking
EditorsPeter Lloyd, Erik Bohemia
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherThe Design Research Society
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventDRS 2016: Design + Research + Society, Future-Focused Thinking, The 50th Anniversary DRS Conference - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201630 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameDRS International Conference Series
PublisherThe Design Research Society
ISSN (Electronic)2398-3132


ConferenceDRS 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • ethics
  • gerontechnology
  • resourcefulness
  • things-ethnographies


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