Designing for Empathy

RESEARCH EXPANDING AGING EXPERIENCE SUIT FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES
Author:
Byungsoo Kim / Hongyang Liu / Sharon Joines
Company/School:
Research in Ergonomics and Design (RED) Laboratory, College of Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Byungsoo Kim / Hongyang Liu / Sharon Joines
Research in Ergonomics and Design (RED) Laboratory, College of Design,  North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

1. INTRODUCTION

With more and more aging issues under the contemporary circumstances, designers, researchers, and design educators need to pay attention to these issues in relation to the product design field. As an important aspect of developing design criteria, designing for empathy can be seen as a great approach to help designers and design student with the product, service, and system design. Developing empathy through experience provides opportunities for students to understand how the older adults feel, what they experience, and why they act in certain ways in their real life. Hence, kits or devices that can provide students with an aging experience can be important in the early stages of the product design process. In this paper, topics related to aging simulation, experience development, and a current lab aging kit will be explored.

1.1. productS AND environments for the aged

According to the U.S Census, there were 40.3 million more people who were 65 years and over living in America in 2010 compared to 2000.  The population over 65 is expected to increase more rapidly in the near future as the first Baby boomers (1946-1964) turned 65 in 2011 (Rahrer, 2013). As a result, the concept of ‘ease of use of product’ is becoming considered applicable to the general population including older adults (Vanderheiden et al., 2000). Representing a 286.7 billion dollar elder care market segment in 2012 and 319.8 billion dollars in 2013 (BCC research, 2014), the products and spaces designed to meet the needs of this growing demographic is...read more.