Painting the Ideal Home: Using Art to Express Visions of Technologically Supported Independent Living for Older People in North-East EnglandBy Vickers, Paul; Banwell, Linda; Heaford, Susan; Sainz de Salces, Fausto J.; Universal Access in the Information Society, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 33-47
Publication Date: April 2009
Study explored the use of participatory design (PD) in the development of assistive technology for older people through the involvement of a community art group. Participants were 10 members of a group of retired seniors who met regularly at a community center to draw and paint. Of particular interest were their ideas of how technology could help them remain in their own home as they aged. Over a period of 6 weeks, researchers met with the group three times, first to introduce the project and ask participants to imagine and make illustrations of technology from the future that could help people in their homes. Subsequent second and third visits served to assess and encourage progress, photograph the resulting artwork, and interview the artists about their designs. Technology depicted in the resulting artwork included (1) domestic robots performing mundane tasks around the house; (2) the armchair telephone, a phone which could also be used to activate household appliances; (3) a remotely operated automatic window cleaner; (4) an automatic iron which could pick up, iron, fold, and put away clothing items; (5) a gran-o-phone that enabled the user to contact her grandchildren immediately at any time; (6) a pre-loadable automatic food dispenser; and (7) digitally advanced windows, a concept in which the view through a household window could be altered, for example to improve the mood of an individual with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The authors conclude that this PD approach is viable for gathering information in a comfortable, familiar environment, and the themes that emerged from the artists can be taken forward into the development of future assistive home technology.
Published by: Springer Publishing Company (Website:http://www.springerpub.com)
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