RISD partnered with a retirement community, pairing two designers with one retiree. The designers and retiree were to work together to create a product that would solve a problem or enhance an experience in the older adult's life. The initial visit gave us a good sense of the community setting and some insight into the types of activities held in the community. We were also invited into the home of our new client.
After an initial extended interview, we attended a panel discussion on aging with our client to inspire conversation with her about societal perceptions of older adults. We also created stimuli cards with images of older adults, as well as commonly held beliefs about older adults, and asked her to react to the photos and the statements. We asked her to imagine what it might be like to meet some of the people pictured, and what she would talk about with them.
After several sessions, we determined that our client's main concern was around making new friends, and maintaining meaningful relationships with old ones. We also learned that she had been passionate about traveling when she was younger. We were inspired to create a game about world travel that was meant to inspire conversation and storytelling among the players, whether they are old friends or new acquaintences.