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Furniture for Later Life: Design Based on Older People’s Experiences of Furniture in Three Housing Forms

Jonsson, Oskar LU (2013)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Denna doktorsavhandling i industridesign handlar om utmaningarna och möjligheterna att möta demografiska förskjutningarna och de förmodade förväntningarna hos dagens och morgondagens äldre generationer. Bakgrunden är avsaknaden av möbler som motsvarar efterfrågan hos äldre konsumenter och bristande kunskap om relationerna mellan möbler och äldre människor i hem- och vårdmiljöer. Generaliseringen av äldres behov har visat sig vara alltför begränsade för att möta deras behov och krav. Syftet är att öka kunskapen och medvetenheten om de sätt på vilka äldre människor agerar på, påverkas av, reflekterar över och uppskattar möbler i sina hem. För att blottlägga dessa relationer, har tre olika... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Denna doktorsavhandling i industridesign handlar om utmaningarna och möjligheterna att möta demografiska förskjutningarna och de förmodade förväntningarna hos dagens och morgondagens äldre generationer. Bakgrunden är avsaknaden av möbler som motsvarar efterfrågan hos äldre konsumenter och bristande kunskap om relationerna mellan möbler och äldre människor i hem- och vårdmiljöer. Generaliseringen av äldres behov har visat sig vara alltför begränsade för att möta deras behov och krav. Syftet är att öka kunskapen och medvetenheten om de sätt på vilka äldre människor agerar på, påverkas av, reflekterar över och uppskattar möbler i sina hem. För att blottlägga dessa relationer, har tre olika boendeformer studerats och jämförts. Målet är att förbättra förutsättningar för design av möbler avsedda för äldre människor och deras boendemiljöer genom att utgå från deras egna erfarenheter.

Det övergripande tillvägagångsätt har varit användarcentrerat med tidigt fokus på äldre människor. Fem kvalitativt deskriptiva studier har genomförts för att belysa relationer mellan äldre människor och möbler i vardagslivet. Ett gemensamt inslag var intervjuer. För att nå en djupare och mer mångfacetterad förståelse har utöver intervjuerna olika datainsamlingsmetoder kombinerats. Sammanlagt deltog 88 personer. En kvalitativ innehållsanalys tvärs över studierna har använts för att jämföra beskrivningar om relationer mellan människor och möbler i tre olika miljöer: 1) ordinärt boende, 2) seniorboende och 3) särskilt boende (SÄBO).

Resultaten visar på en stor spridning av vad äldre uttrycker om möbler, och synliggör många olikartade intressen, behov och önskemål. Det är utifrån dessa resultat orimligt att reducera äldre människor till en homogen grupp eller att i förväg specificera deras behov. Trots det visar resultaten sammantaget behov och önskemål om möbler som främjar bekvämlighet, trivsel och självständighet och som bidrar till eftersträvansvärda upplevelser av värdighet, meningsfullhet och frihet. Resultaten presenteras i en modell över hur möbler kan vara betydelsefulla för äldre människor. Modellen som består av de fyra kategorier: 1) passa användning, 2) passa människokropp, 3)passa individ och 4) passa fysisk miljö förslås även kunna användas för andra produkttyper eller tjänster och människor i andra livsfaser. Resultaten visar att äldre människor är aktiva och reflekterande användare, kapabla att identifiera sina behov och uttrycka specificerade krav. De behov som de äldre deltagarna själva gav uttryck för, skiljer sig från befintliga rekommendationer om möbler för äldre. De senare baseras i huvudsak på äldre människors fysiologiska förändringar medan resultaten i denna avhandling pekar på behov av produkter som även stödjer psykologiska och sociala förändringar och överensstämmer med en eftersträvansvärd identitet av en aktiv, oberoende och självbestämmande individ.

Slutsatsen är att designer bör vara tätt involverade i framtagandet av kunskap om äldre människors behov och omfatta en helhetssyn på människors olikartade behov. En framtida rekommendation är att i industriella och marknadsmässiga sammanhang ta till vara den kunskap som genererats i denna doktorsavhandling, involvera användare i iterativa designprocesser och skapa helt nya eller vidareutveckla designlösningar som är önskvärda och användbara för människor under en så lång period av livet som möjligt. (Less)
Abstract
This thesis in industrial design concerns the challenges and possibilities in meeting demographic shifts and the presumed expectations of today’s and tomorrow’s older generations. The background is the lack of furniture that responds to the demands of older consumers and the lack of knowledge about relationships between people and furniture in their home environments and in various forms of elderly care environments. Generalizations made regarding old people's needs have proved to be too limited in scope to meet their needs and wishes. The purpose is to improve knowledge and awareness concerning the ways in which old people act on, are influenced by, reflect on and appreciate furniture in their homes. To reveal these relationships, three... (More)
This thesis in industrial design concerns the challenges and possibilities in meeting demographic shifts and the presumed expectations of today’s and tomorrow’s older generations. The background is the lack of furniture that responds to the demands of older consumers and the lack of knowledge about relationships between people and furniture in their home environments and in various forms of elderly care environments. Generalizations made regarding old people's needs have proved to be too limited in scope to meet their needs and wishes. The purpose is to improve knowledge and awareness concerning the ways in which old people act on, are influenced by, reflect on and appreciate furniture in their homes. To reveal these relationships, three different housing forms have been studied and compared. The aim is to improve the conditions for design of furniture intended for old people and the housing forms in which they live with their own experiences as a point of departure.

The overall approach is user-centered with an early focus on old people. A number of qualitative, descriptive studies were conducted to shed light on everyday relationships between old people and furniture. One common feature of the studies was interviews. In order to reach a deeper and more nuanced understanding, a combination of various data gathering methods has been applied in addition to the interviews. In total, 88 people participated in the studies. A qualitative cross-study content analysis was used to compare accounts regarding relationships between people and furniture for three different housing forms: 1) ordinary housing, 2) senior housing and 3) nursing homes.

The results show that there is great variety in what old people express regarding furniture and reveal a diversity of interests, needs and wishes. In the light of these results, it is unreasonable to reduce old people to a homogeneous group or attempt to specify their needs in advance. Despite this, the results reveal needs and wishes for furniture that provide comfort, pleasure and independence and that contribute to desired experiences of dignity, meaningfulness and freedom. The results are presented in a model explaining how furniture may be attributed significance by older people. The model, which consists of four categories, 1) fit usage, 2) fit human body, 3) suit the individual and 4) fit physical environment, is proposed for use with other product types or services and also for people in other stages of their lives. In the results, old people are seen to be active and reflective users who are capable of identifying their needs as well as specifying and expressing their demands. The needs expressed by old people themselves differ from existing recommendations regarding furniture intended for old people. The latter are based primarily on the effects of physiological changes old people have undergone, whereas the results of this thesis indicate the need for products which provide support also for psychological and social changes and which correspond to a desired identity, i.e. that of an active, independent and self-determinant individual.

The conclusion is that designers ought to be closely involved in researching the needs and wishes of old people and that they ought to embrace a holistic view on people and their diverse needs. This thesis recommends that future works in industrial and market oriented contexts utilize the knowledge generated in this thesis, involve users in iterative design processes, and create totally new or improved furniture solutions desirable and usable by people for as long period of their lives as possible. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Associate Professor Sigurjónsson, Jóhannes, NTNU - Trondheim, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Product Design, Norway
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Furniture design, Product experiences, Human-furniture relationships, User-centered design, Aging population
pages
203 pages
publisher
Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University
defense location
Stora Hörsalen (DC:Shö), Ingvar Kamprad Design Centre (IKDC) Sölvegatan 26, Lund University Faculty of Engineering
defense date
2013-12-06 13:00
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1d6d9afa-2605-4d67-9b96-5ac53fbb9296 (old id 4146752)
date added to LUP
2013-11-12 12:35:57
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:07
@phdthesis{1d6d9afa-2605-4d67-9b96-5ac53fbb9296,
  abstract     = {This thesis in industrial design concerns the challenges and possibilities in meeting demographic shifts and the presumed expectations of today’s and tomorrow’s older generations. The background is the lack of furniture that responds to the demands of older consumers and the lack of knowledge about relationships between people and furniture in their home environments and in various forms of elderly care environments. Generalizations made regarding old people's needs have proved to be too limited in scope to meet their needs and wishes. The purpose is to improve knowledge and awareness concerning the ways in which old people act on, are influenced by, reflect on and appreciate furniture in their homes. To reveal these relationships, three different housing forms have been studied and compared. The aim is to improve the conditions for design of furniture intended for old people and the housing forms in which they live with their own experiences as a point of departure. <br/><br>
The overall approach is user-centered with an early focus on old people. A number of qualitative, descriptive studies were conducted to shed light on everyday relationships between old people and furniture. One common feature of the studies was interviews. In order to reach a deeper and more nuanced understanding, a combination of various data gathering methods has been applied in addition to the interviews. In total, 88 people participated in the studies. A qualitative cross-study content analysis was used to compare accounts regarding relationships between people and furniture for three different housing forms: 1) ordinary housing, 2) senior housing and 3) nursing homes. <br/><br>
The results show that there is great variety in what old people express regarding furniture and reveal a diversity of interests, needs and wishes. In the light of these results, it is unreasonable to reduce old people to a homogeneous group or attempt to specify their needs in advance. Despite this, the results reveal needs and wishes for furniture that provide comfort, pleasure and independence and that contribute to desired experiences of dignity, meaningfulness and freedom. The results are presented in a model explaining how furniture may be attributed significance by older people. The model, which consists of four categories, 1) fit usage, 2) fit human body, 3) suit the individual and 4) fit physical environment, is proposed for use with other product types or services and also for people in other stages of their lives. In the results, old people are seen to be active and reflective users who are capable of identifying their needs as well as specifying and expressing their demands. The needs expressed by old people themselves differ from existing recommendations regarding furniture intended for old people. The latter are based primarily on the effects of physiological changes old people have undergone, whereas the results of this thesis indicate the need for products which provide support also for psychological and social changes and which correspond to a desired identity, i.e. that of an active, independent and self-determinant individual. <br/><br>
The conclusion is that designers ought to be closely involved in researching the needs and wishes of old people and that they ought to embrace a holistic view on people and their diverse needs. This thesis recommends that future works in industrial and market oriented contexts utilize the knowledge generated in this thesis, involve users in iterative design processes, and create totally new or improved furniture solutions desirable and usable by people for as long period of their lives as possible.},
  author       = {Jonsson, Oskar},
  keyword      = {Furniture design,Product experiences,Human-furniture relationships,User-centered design,Aging population},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {203},
  publisher    = {Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Furniture for Later Life: Design Based on Older People’s Experiences of Furniture in Three Housing Forms},
  year         = {2013},
}