Design for an Aging Population
How can design and systems thinking help model our future as it will be affected by an aging population, or the Gray Migration? What new industries, services, and classes of products might appear? How can the quality of life improve in the context of an aging population?
The implications of an aging population are too vast to leave to demographers, economists, political scientists, and politicians, and too important to leave to chance. Design can examine the present and developing consequences to envision new relationships for people younger and older, individually and collectively.
We attacked this complex problem through systems thinking. Using a set of methods which emphasizes team techniques and specific information structures during project definition, problem analysis, research, concept development, and communication.
This massive team effort was an exercise in “cutting cubes out of fog” or tackling C. West Churchman’s “wicked problem”. I was instrumental in leading the narrative aspects. How do we convey our insights and solutions? How to package this as an offering that is clear, accurate, and consumable? The visual narrative structure needed guidance from style, color palette, to conceptualization. I offer strengths in both strategy development and the visual storytelling.
This diagram outlines the method and system we used to address the Grey Migration: