Join the MATUROLIFE community here to learn more about how user-centred design coupled with material innovation and sensor integration will aim to produce “smart” furniture, clothing and footwear with assistive functionality in this EU-funded Horizon 2020 Innovation Action running until December 2020.
By integrating older adults and creative artists and fashion designers into the research team, user-centred and design-driven innovation has been the driving force behind this technology project. The products under development aim to help older adults stay independent for longer by providing reassurance, and by being simple to use, discreet, desirable and fashionable.
In 2018 the user-driven design approach entailed the recruitment of over 90 older adults above 65 years in a series of 10 co-creation workshops in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and UK. AGE Platform Europe and Eurocarers representing the voice of older people and informal carers respectively, are the project partners supporting the recruitment phases of older adults including their carers, and ensuring responsible stakeholder engagement throughout.
In the course of 2019, the main work has been to build functional prototypes and making sure technical aspects, such as sensor integration, actually works and is usable in a real-life setting. The next 6 months will see the iterative design phase of the project, with informal sessions to collect feedback from end-users, thereby ensuring that the human element is maintained and does not get lost during the prototype development phase. This iterative testing phase will take place locally where the furniture, clothing and footwear prototypes are being built.
Moreover, expert input will be sought from a wider set of external stakeholders which also includes representatives from Eurocarers and AGE Platform Europe, who are members of both the Maturolife Stakeholder Representative Panel and its External Expert Advisory Board.