Full Interview: Glen Hougan on designing for seniors

Ageism and design
original photo by laRuth

Glen Hougan is doing some really interesting work at NSCAD, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, in Halifax. Glen is thinking a lot about designing products for an ageing population.

Nora spoke to him recently about a few of his projects. First off, Glen explains how his students have created "ageing suits" they can wear to understand the physical limitations of seniors. He goes on to talk about ageism in design and how products created for an older population tend to focus on functionality rather than aesthetics or beauty, a major problem in his opinion. (Walker, we're looking at you!)  Finally, Nora asks Glen about his latest project, a new "intergenerational" space especially designed for residents of Halifax seniors building and elementary school students.

Lots of interesting insights and examples in this interview.

What do you think about Glen's observations? Are there examples of poor design, or great design, that you can add to this conversation?

A shorter version of this interview will air on the February 25  and28 episode of Spark, but you can hear the full, uncut interview if you download the MP3.

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