Contemporary societies face dramatic demographic changes due to the ageing of the population, changes in social and sexual orientations and practices of the population, drop in the fertility and birth rates, and transformations in family ties. These changes pose new important challenges to science, technology and design and ask for strong innovation in all these fields. At the same time, innovation requires a new approach centred on the user perspective and able to foster the active participation and involvement of users.
This course is aimed to explore the different challenges posed by new demographic trends and the role played by technological and social innovation in providing solutions. Starting from a description of the main challenges, the course develops different perspectives of technological and social innovation trying to solve the main problems. A specific attention will be paid to ageing as this is the most relevant worldwide demographic revolution in the next years.
Architects, designers and engineers specialised in the field will lecture and discuss with PhD students to develop a multidisciplinary, integrated approach. Design of private and public spaces, introduction of ICT, city planning will be analysed as different aspects of the same trajectory to support the independent living of people.
The course has the following main aims:
- Providing a description of the social economic drivers of new demographics and of the ageing society, and of their main challenges
- Describing the main innovation taking place in this context, in an interdisciplinary perspective: from ICT innovation to social and spatial design
- Considering how the different developments are able to impact on the problems of the ageing society, to challenge students to innovate and test the problem solving potential of innovation
- Discussing the societal and ethical problems rising from the increased role played by technology in the ageing society, considering also the main dilemmas connected to the end-of-life.
The course includes nine lecturers given by invited speakers who are specialists in the specific issue at stake. Each lecture includes: a main lecture (approx. 1,5 hour), discussion of the lecture in small groups among students (1 hour), collective discussion in plenary session with the lecturer (1,5 hour). The course includes also a daily field visit (see below).
Wed 15 January 9,15-13,15
Introduction to the course
Presentation of teacher and students.
Schedule, themes, readings
The demographic and social challenges: what is the ageing society and what is its impact on contemporary society
Prof. Costanzo Ranci
In this introductory lecture prof. Ranci will describe the social and demographic scenario of ageing societies, will identify the main challenges in economic, social and technological terms.
Wed 22 January, 9,15-13,15
ICT enabled independent living for elderly
Dott..ssa Lorena Rossi (INRCA-IRCCS Ancona)
Lorena Rossi is Chief of Centre of Innovative Models for Ageing Care and Technology of INRCA-IRCCS (Residential and care institute with a scientific mission) in Ancona. Her main interest is in use of ICT technologies for the assistance of elderly people. Her lecture will address the main innovation in the field of AAL – Active Assisted Living – and the opportunities for the market expansion of new ICT technologies addressing the needs of fragile patients.
Wed 29 January, 9,15-13,15
On the importance of designing spaces for our future selves. Space quality and space setting for aged people at home and in residences
Prof. Antonio Da Silva Ferreira de Carvalho (Politecnico di Milano)
Prof. de Carvalho is visiting professor at the Politecnico di Milano, where he teaches a course on “New Ageing Cities: designing urban and housing solutions for all". He has designed main spaces for older people and has participated to various research projects. His lecture will address the design of housing and residential spaces which match the special need of older people.
Wed 5 February, 9,15-13,15
Collective housing: the present and future of multi-generational housing options
Prof. Margrit Hugentobler (ETH Wonhforum)
Prof. Hugentobler has worked at the ETH Wohnforum - ETH CASE (Centre for Research on Architecture, Society & the Built Environment) as scientific and leading researcher. She has been involved in several projects aimed at enabling people to age in place, that is in their own homes. Her lecture will address the issue of spaces and services in residential homes for older people and innovative housing models aimed at inclusion, social exchange and autonomy.
Wed 12 February, 9,15-17,15
Ageing in the city: social innovation in urban contexts.
Prof. Massimo Bricocoli and prof. Stefania Sabatinelli (Politecnico di Milano)
Prof. Bricocoli and prof. Sabatinelli are leading experts in the space organisation and innovation of social services. They are involved in innovation projects aimed at improving the accessibility and use of social services in Milan. They will organise a field visit observing traditional collective structures under reorganization and more recent, innovative and flexible centres.
Wed 19 February, 9,15-13,15
Participatory Design and Vulnerability
Prof. Daniela Sangiorgi (Politecnico di Milano)
PhD in Design, prof. Sangiorgi is Associate Professor at the Design Department of Politecnico di Milano. She has been one of the first researchers investigating the area of Service Design globally. She is currently developing research in the field of healthcare innovation, with projects on the transformation of mental healthcare services in Italy. Her class will introduce the specific field of Participatory Design, focusing on the constraints and opportunities of designing with and for a vulnerable population. Specific attention will be given to the requirements and experiences conducted with elderly people, followed by a short class exercise and discussion
Tue 25 February, 9,15-13,15
ICT for Ageing in Place
Prof. Sara Comai and Fabio Salice (Politecnico di Milano)
Prof. Comai and prof. Salice are professors at the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering (DEIB) of Politecnico di Milano. They coordinate ATG (Assistive TechnologyGroup) in the same university. Prof. Salice’s research interests cover pervasive systems design – with particular attention to frail people (elderly and mild cognitive disability). Prof. Comai’s research includes also the design and development of multimodal interfaces, possibly targeted at users with disabilities or older people.
New technologies represent an opportunity during the ageing process. Preserving autonomy is a key factor both because it helps to slow down the processes of cognitive decay and because it minimizes economic and social impacts. The purpose of this lecture is to describe how technologies could become a support tool for people, families and society.
Wed 4 March, 9,15-13,15
The ethical dilemmas of the ageing society: debating the end-of-life care
prof. Marco Marzano (University of Bergamo)
Prof. Marzano is Professor of Sociology of Organization at the University of Bergamo. His work has been focused on social theory and on qualitative methodology. He has extensively published in the fields of religious change, research ethics and the social organization of death. He will address several ethical issues involved in the end-of-live care.
Wed 11 March, 9,15-13,15
Closing lesson: what can be done? Trajectories of innovation in the ageing society
Prof. Costanzo Ranci
The last lecture will sum up the main aspects emerged in previous lessons, and will point out what are the most promising innovation activities and their related challenges. Instructions will be also given to students to help them to elaborate their own final short paper.