How storytelling and design can influence age beliefs – an interview with This Age Thing co-founder Georgina Lee

“Everything that we pick up, use, wear, and interact with is designed for us – and on the whole, not very well.

“For example, we’re just about to publish a big survey that we did with The University of the Third Age. The aim of this survey was to identify the 10 most frustrating everyday objects. And 60% of people said it was packaging. Food packaging, medical packaging, etc.

“But it’s not just older adults that find packaging frustrating; it’s people of all ages, for various reasons. Some people may struggle to open lots of packaging – I don’t know anyone who can open those washing pod boxes – while others may be frustrated about it for environmental reasons.

“And this is one of This Age Thing’s goals: to identify the things that are causing friction in our lives and how we can use design to work intergenerationally and overcome the problems they cause. One of the great things about inclusive design is that if you design for the margins, you actually design better for everybody. No one is going to complain about clothes that are stylish but also comfortable to wear!

“As for packaging, our goal is to launch a petition so the Government will talk about it in the Houses of Parliament, and ban discriminatory packaging. By this, I mean things that are overly fiddly and difficult to get into.

“In our research, we heard stories of people getting bleach bottles opened at the supermarket and walking a mile home with the lid screwed half-on. This is not good design. We have to make things childproof but we don’t need to make them human-proof! If you have negative age beliefs, discriminatory packaging and bad design are just going to feed them.”

Author: wpadmin

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