Why design for seniors?
With almost 20% of the EU population being 65 years old or more, the market offering products to seniors is still underdeveloped. As a result, the elderly experience decreased comfort of life, jeopardising their independence in their home environment. In order to tackle this challenge, partners from nine countries (Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden) representing traditional wood and furniture industries, social sciences, robotics, engineering, and Information and communication technologies (ICT) came together in the project BaltSe@nior. By means of transnational cooperation, BaltSe@nior encourages designers and enterprises to design and manufacture tailored furniture that incorporate smart solutions to increase seniors’ comfort and security in their home environments.
Compiled data on seniors’ health and lifestyle around the Baltic Sea was the project’s starting point for developing innovative tools, such as a 3D printable age simulator imitating physical limitations related to a senior age, a mirror displaying personalised messages, baseboards allowing for detection of an elderly person's fall and glasses imitating vision disorders. All the design methods and design tools will be available in an online library to help companies verify the particular needs of seniors in a given country, adjust their offerings and more easily enter other markets.