Our class had to prepare a concept map for our research topic and our cultural probe kit for a mini presentation and feedback session.
Proposed project title: Cultivating a Sharing Economy among Senior Citizens to Promote Active Ageing in Singapore
Brief concept: To build a community where seniors can tap on to a shared pool of knowledge. Qualified seniors with special skills and talents can volunteer to conduct courses/workshops for other elderly. Others can volunteer to be assistants e.g. admin work, manpower. Credits will be given to the contributors (course instructors and assistants). These credits can then be used to attend other workshops/courses.
How is this relevant to the study of design?
Main idea: Designing a credit-based system to encourage the sharing of knowledge between the elderly community
Other possible areas of design to consider:
- Database design for members/participants
- UI/UX design for relevant applications e.g. website, mobile application
- Graphic design for marketing materials
What is the underlying design problem/issue?
Current situation: Courses/workshops held in community centres (CCs) taught by external companies are priced considerably high. A typical course can cost anything from $35 to $500. An alternative is the free interest groups for various activities with unlimited vacancies. However, these interest groups do not seem very popular and are not given proper promotion e.g. no images and only a brief description can be seen on onePA.sg.
How can it be expanded to a broader context (society, culture, other disciplines of study, etc)?
Potential research themes: Citizen Designer or Contemporary Cities
The concept of “sharing economy” does not limit itself to elderly. It can be transferred to people of all ages. In the long term, perhaps even infiltrating into the culture of Singapore.
Other possible areas of study:
- Facilities design and planning: Elder-friendly amenities and space to host various workshops/activities
- Education: Understanding how seniors approach learning new skills at their age (experiential learning, e-learning etc.)
What are the possible perspectives/queries to study this topic?
- Are the current courses/workshops ineffective? Are we able to improve on them?
- Are the senior citizens open to the concept of sharing their knowledge?
- Is there demand for this?
- The cost incurred to run the programme?
- How do we encourage senior citizens to join the programme? What kind of incentives can we provide?
The general feedback I got was that this is a good start but it is getting clinical. The design practice would need to be more exciting. I should start looking at successful design projects, existing, successful models of ageing or initiatives. Learning from case studies, I will need to identify what are the best practices and how they are effective. It would also be interesting to ask those age 40s-50s what do they want to do at later age.