The new old

18 : 01 : 2017 The Design Museum : The Flat Age Society : The Optimised Self

London – New Old at The Design Museum examines the potential for design to enhance later life.

  • The exhibition highlights how emerging technologies will improve the quality of life for older consumers
  • Robotic clothing and driverless cars are among the technologies on show
Scooter for Life by Priestman Goode as part of New Old at The Design Musem, London Scooter for Life by Priestman Goode as part of New Old at The Design Musem, London
ElliQ by Intuition Robotics as part of New Old at The Design Museum, London ElliQ by Intuition Robotics as part of New Old at The Design Museum, London
ElliQ by Intuition Robotics ats part of New Old at The Design Museum, London ElliQ by Intuition Robotics ats part of New Old at The Design Museum, London
Aura Powered Suit by SuperFlex as part of New Old at The Design Museum, London Aura Powered Suit by SuperFlex as part of New Old at The Design Museum, London

The exhibition, which runs until 19 February, explores how design will help older consumers to lead fuller, healthier and more rewarding lives in the future.

It features examples of technologies that will cater for the growing ageing population such as robotic clothing, a smart scooter and social companion technology, and examines a variety of perspectives on old age.

Superflex’s Aura powered suit features built-in electric muscles that support a wearer’s torso, hips and legs, while the ElliQ social companion robot is designed to help older people feel less lonely by enabling them to easily contact their family and friends through video chats, online games and social media.

‘A lot of older people really want another human to care for them, but there are not enough humans to go around,’ co-curator Jeremy Myerson told New Scientist magazine. ‘Especially with the ageing demographic, people are looking at automation, technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to see whether robots could care for an ageing population.’

The Big Picture

People are living in an increasingly Flat Age Society, in which consumers are no longer defined or held back by their age, and brands are responding with products that cater for this new mindset. Read our macrotrend The Optimised Self to find out more.

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