Designing for an ageing population: an inclusive design methodology | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1474-273X
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0896


Within the United Kingdom 19 million people, nearly half the electorate, are aged over 50 years, constituting a significant consumer group with a combined annual income of £166 billion (Nicholson, 2001). However, ‘everyday products and services are designed in a way that ignores the needs of older people ... excluding them from a society that is youth obsessed’ (Design and Innovation, 2000). Whilst designers have access to marketing and ergonomic data, personal perceptions based on negative stereotypes may prejudice the design process. Building on research into professional design practice and the ageing population, this paper proposes an inclusive design methodology to challenge ageist assumptions and contribute to curriculum developments in learning and teaching design in higher education. The research is timely as age discrimination legislation was agreed within the European Union in 2000 (European Union Directive, 2000) and is anticipated to be implemented within the United Kingdom by 2006 (Age Concern, 2002).


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