... where I will be holding a workshop on the impact of ageism on design. Title: The Impact of Visual Ageism on Design and Designing for Social Change: Some Very Good Practices and Many Very Bad Practices.
Content: Design can do many things. It can represent minorities or other them, help develop empathy, raise both awareness and status or perpetuate stereotypes and marginalise, script and mediate social practices… In short: Design has the power to include or exclude groups of people. This workshop focuses on the impact ageism has on design. Ageist stereotypes affect societies, happiness, health, and life expectancy, limit the capacity to make choices about lives. And yet they remain rather unchallenged: surveys suggest no jeans after the age of 53, no twitter if you are 47 or older, we are constantly surrounded by associations such as young and dynamic and constructs like 50plus. Ageing in an ageist society generally means becoming invisible and losing status. The combination of image makers influencing what issues we discuss in a society, of designers – often unconsciously – being driven by negative assumptions and consumers internalising the deficit orientation might explain why there is a design ghetto created for „the old“. However, there are a great many inspirational approaches that successfully focus on asthetics, address issues of dignity, consider the role language plays, empower, and challenge the notion that design need not be sexy when targeting „the old“, approaches that prove: Design can make change.
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photograph by Joel Meyerowitz via