(Accepted) Contemporary themes in the design of AT for the ageing population: materiality, co-design and cultural influences
Authors: Spinelli, G., Micocci, M., Tsekleves, E., Wang, Y.-H., Martin, W., Lim, Y. and Shamim, U.
Editors: Woodcock, A., Moody, L., McDonagh, D., Jain, A. and Jain, L.
Publisher: Springer International PublishingAbstract:
Products we purchase are much more than artefacts that fulfil functional needs in our life. We have grown to enact our consumer choices, even those regarding fast moving consum-able goods, with careful considerations informed by numerous trials, recommendations and, growingly, environmental concerns in mind. Advanced manufacturing and progress in research and development are providing more choices for consumers even in quite specific and complex product markets. An exemption to this market trend is represented by assistive technologies (ATs). This is a relatively underdeveloped context despite the growing demands for assistive devices by those in later life who need either support in accomplishing everyday life to stay independent or have complex co-occurring conditions. In this chapter, we explore why ATs, especially for older adults, are underdeveloped by exploring issues related to design approaches and cultural and social perceptions that have contributed to making consumers more or less sensitive and demanding towards the role of ATs in their lives. The chapter will conclude with recommendations that may be able to shift the perception of assistive devices so as to facilitate the user’s emotional investment in the devices, attachment to them, which, in return, may lead to better adherence and faster adoption.