The current narrative around older adults focuses too much on the negative aspects of aging. But older adults, as a population, are not so different from other demographics in their needs: they want products and services that help them get things done, express themselves, connect with others, have fun … overall to live more meaningful lives.
Design the Life You Love is a human-centered perspective that can be the basis for creating a meaningful life. We are launching a new initiative that is setting out to create a cultural paradigm shift for older adults and their aging experience. To enable them to live the life they love, we must create a radically increased sense of resilience among older adults, as well as their families and communities.
Our strategy to achieve this vision includes creating a series of workshops that invites older adults to think creatively. The goal is for them, and us, to better understand what they need, and more importantly, want. We realize that this age group is highly underserved, even though they make up a great portion of our demographic today and in the future. Therefore, we see great opportunities in addressing their wants and needs to create another chapter that doesn’t see aging as a burden to deal with, but a phase of life to embrace and be excited about.
Meltem Parlak is a product designer at Birsel+Seck and a faculty member at Parsons School of Design. She is passionate about understanding what users need to increase the quality of their experience.
Meltem received her Master of Fine Arts from the Industrial Design Program of Parsons School of Design in New York. She holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, which included a semester abroad to study Transportation Design at Braunschweig University of Art in Germany. [birselplusseck.com]
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