Impact of Image: Designers and Ageism
Ageism, discrimination based on age, is widespread but one of the least addressed and challenged prejudices in our community. The problem is that this prejudice and stereotyping shows up in the products and environments that are designed for our older population. So how do designers respond to this growing demographic when they may themselves harbor ageist attitudes? How do designers start to design products and environments that don’t perpetuate ageism or reinforce an unhealthy model of our aging population? For designers, understanding their own ageist attitudes is essential before responding to the needs of an aging population. The paper will discuss strategies and design activities that involve methods to get designers to understand the aging process, ageism and how ageism can influence the design of products.