This December, AgeLab founder and director Joseph Coughlin spoke at the Nobel Week Dialogue in Stockholm, Sweden, a prelude to the awarding of this year's Nobel Prizes. He keynoted a day of talks and presentations devoted to new scientific and cultural perspectives on aging. In his keynote speech and later, in a panel discussion, Coughlin questioned the way many product developers approach the process of designing for older users.
The field of technologies designed for old age, he said, "is the only industry and research community in the world that blames the consumer" for being unable to operate a product. "These ingenious devices that have three buttons on a telephone… how many of you would feel proud if you had an adult child that gave you a phone that said 'me, the ambulance and the fire department'?" he asked the audience, to laughter. "And yet this is heralded as a great device! No, that's called a designer's cop-out."
An overview of the day, featuring an AGNES demonstration coordinated by AgeLab's Angelina Gennis, can be seen here.
Coughlin's panel discussion, featuring other experts on aging from around the world, can be seen here.