Elderly people involved in the design of ubiquitous urban environment - Academy of Finland to fund Tiina Suopajärvi´s research

MediaTeam Researcher, Cultural Anthropologist Tiina Suopajärvi has received three-year funding
from the Academy of Finland for her postdoctoral research project on participatory design in ubiquitous urban environment. The funding period will begin in September 2012.

What happens when elderly citizens, computer scientists and city officials mingle in designing new technology?
How to combine the growing number of aging citizens and the intensification of the information society?

Earlier studies show that the ubiquitous public technology is mostly designed for users capable of
adopting new technology. Some elderly people may be part of these "early adopters", but mostly their
computer literacy is below the average.

By finding the useful practices of participatory design aging adults could genially participate in technology design, thus the design would be based on their own needs and desires.

Suopajärvi's study considers the process of technology design as a performance of expertise and knowledge production, where the age, gender and space related power negotiations are intertwined in.

Suopajärvi is currently visiting the Department of Sociology at the University of Lancaster, where she is being hosted by Professor Lucy Suchman, renowned expert in social and feminist technology studies.

http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/sociology/index.php