Title - Designing for Social Engagement in Later Life
Supervision - Dr. Juan Sanin, Dr. Rohit Ashok Khot, Distinguished Professor Larissa Hjorth
This research presents key investigations I have undertaken into enabling active and healthy ageing for older Australians, focused on the role of interaction designers and social technologies in supporting engagement in later life. The research centres on three case studies across two multidisciplinary and collaborative projects, Co-designing Participatory Strategies with Older Adults and Pet Playing for Placemaking, which engaged communities of older Australians, ageing-in-place. Responding to Jeremy Myerson's (2017) call to design active and healthy ageing, I seek to understand why healthy ageing depends on interactions with the spaces, artefacts, and communications around us.
This is motivated by notions of how dependent these outcomes are on designers engaging and understanding the life worlds of older people. Through this dissertation, I consider the biases designers continue to have in creating technologies for later life, as well as explore the social interactions of older adults. This centres on a research gap in the higher degrees of social interaction, social engagement, the extent to which a person participates in interpersonal activities and the maintenance of meaningful connections. This is framed by the learnings of Ezio Manzini (2019): that it is not possible to explicitly design interactions between people instead, as designers, we should be concerned with creating artifacts dedicated to making them possible and probable.
Keywords - Social Interaction, Social Engagement Technology, Healthy Ageing, Interaction Design
Scholarship - Co-designing Social and Digital Innovations for Ageing Futures (RMIT Design & Creative Practice ECP)
2nd Milestone Report