Design for Ageing Well: Improving the Quality of Life for the Ageing Population Using a Technology Enabled Garment System
We are at the beginning of a new industrial revolution with the merging of textiles and electronics. Current markets for clothing and electronics have been separate. Medical devices have been developed for ‘ill people’ with little aesthetic appeal and wearable technology has not been readily accepted by some intended markets due to badly designed user-interfaces. Little has been done to address the design requirements of older wearers with regard to aspects of human physiology in terms of sizing, fit, predominant posture, thermal regulation, moisture management, protection and the psychological ‘feel good factor’. Emerging technologies may be confusing to traditional clothing designers, while electronics and medical experts are not normally conversant with textile technology. A shared 'language' and vision is needed to easily communicate between these sectors and older wearers. The application of smart textiles in a clothing ‘layering system’ may enhance the quality of life of the active ageing. To be acceptable, clothing must be comfortable, stylish and function reliably in relation to the technical, aesthetic and cultural userneeds. This paper will focus on the needs of the 65-75 year old age group who have experienced the influence of design throughout their lives. A design methodology, driven by meaningful end-user research, will be introduced that addresses the potential for a comfortable and stylish clothing system to promote the wellness and autonomy of this growing community.
Pietro VINCENZINI and Rita PARADISO
J. McCann, "Design for Ageing Well: Improving the Quality of Life for the Ageing Population Using a Technology Enabled Garment System", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 60, pp. 154-163, 2008