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Article

Co-Design as Learning: The Differences of Learning When Involving Older People in Digitalization in Four Countries

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Department of Biomedical Engineering and Health Systems, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, 141 57 Huddinge, Sweden
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Department of Health, Aging and Society, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4, Canada
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Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya/Open University of Catalonia, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
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Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
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School of Governance, Utrecht University, 3511 ZC Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Active Ageing Research Group, Avans University of Applied Sciences, 4800 RA Breda, The Netherlands
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Sociology Department, Trent University, Peterborough, ON K9L 0G2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ieva Stončikaitė, Lucie Vidovićová and Gregor Wolbring
Societies 2021, 11(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11020066
Received: 28 April 2021 / Revised: 10 June 2021 / Accepted: 16 June 2021 / Published: 21 June 2021
Involving older people through co-design has become increasingly attractive as an approach to develop technologies for them. However, less attention has been paid to the internal dynamics and localized socio-material arrangements that enact this method in practice. In this paper, we show how the outcomes that can be achieved with user involvement often pertain to learning, but their content can differ significantly based on how the approach is implemented in practice. Combining explorative, qualitative findings from co-design conducted in four countries (Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden), we illustrate how different types of learning occurred as design workshops engaged the experiences and skills of older people in different ways. Our findings make visible how learning can be a core outcome of co-design activities with older adults, while raising awareness of the role of the power relations and socio-material arrangements that structure these design practices in particular ways. To benefit from the full wealth of insights that can be learned by involving older people, deeper knowledge is needed of the implicit features of design, the materials, meanings, and power aspects involved. View Full-Text
Keywords: ageing; design practice; user involvement; participatory design; socio-gerontechnology ageing; design practice; user involvement; participatory design; socio-gerontechnology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fischer, B.; Östlund, B.; Dalmer, N.K.; Rosales, A.; Peine, A.; Loos, E.; Neven, L.; Marshall, B. Co-Design as Learning: The Differences of Learning When Involving Older People in Digitalization in Four Countries. Societies 2021, 11, 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11020066

AMA Style

Fischer B, Östlund B, Dalmer NK, Rosales A, Peine A, Loos E, Neven L, Marshall B. Co-Design as Learning: The Differences of Learning When Involving Older People in Digitalization in Four Countries. Societies. 2021; 11(2):66. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11020066

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fischer, Björn, Britt Östlund, Nicole K. Dalmer, Andrea Rosales, Alexander Peine, Eugène Loos, Louis Neven, and Barbara Marshall. 2021. "Co-Design as Learning: The Differences of Learning When Involving Older People in Digitalization in Four Countries" Societies 11, no. 2: 66. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc11020066

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