Age & Ability Research Lab
How can designers shape a future that includes people of all ages and abilities?
The Age & Ability Research Lab creates practical design ideas to improve the lives of people of all ages and abilities. We address the major challenges of daily living, using techniques drawn from design ethnography and inclusive design, to better understand needs and aspirations. We consider people as equals in the process, working closely with diverse groups of older, younger and differently-abled people throughout our research.
Current research themes
- In the drive towards civic participation and social innovation, people are often seen as the passive recipients of help. We explore how people can become more central to their community – as participants, commentators, evaluators and instigators.
- We study representation across the spectrums of age and ability looking at issues such as sexual health and debates such as environmental and economic sustainability. We aim to ensure that solutions are not just authored for a young or able-bodied population.
- We investigate how design thinking can meet new challenges, especially in areas such as cognitive impairment, in particular dementia and autism spectrum disorders.
- We aim to overcome the digital divide and include marginalised groups by creating more human interactions with devices and services.
- We explore how the major everyday concerns of people across the spectrum of age and ability can be met. From completing daily tasks independently in the home, through to issues such as health concerns, financial worries, reduced mobility, and social isolation.