Empathy for others, strangers, the young ones, the older ones, the ones that are not you. Today more than ever, this is needed and essential when creating future services products and spaces for others.
“…Imagine going from 30 to 80 years old in ten minutes by slipping on an age simulation suit and going about your regular activities for a day…”
Out Of Office worked on a project called ‘The Future Of Seniors’, exploring the needs and behaviors of seniors in order to better serve this segment in the future. The aging population in Europe will create a greater demand for more innovative products and services, but at the same time there is still a lot to discover to truly understand needs and wants now and in the future. In order to ask the relevant questions, such as ‘how might we enable people in later life to have positive experiences of ageing?’ and ‘how might we create opportunities for people in later life to connect with other people, communities and activities?’, one starts by better understanding.
That is why we love to read about AGNES in this article. We normally look at signals of the future and AGNES has been out there for a while, but it is relevant in these days. MIT AgeLab developed it in 2010 to simulate what it feels to be 70 or 80 years old. Their research program believes ‘that by experiencing a specific problem, there is better understanding – and ultimately better design.’
Ultimately it allows designers of products, services, spaces, places to wear the suit and understand what it feels like to age. AGNES reminded us that today more than ever, with a COVID-19 world that craves human connection, feeling understood is not only a basic human need, but it is about how we connect, help, and support ‘the other’ again.
An investment in a renewed human connection.
Link MIT AgeLab: https://agelab.mit.edu/agnes-age-gain-now-empathy-system