A brand doesn’t have to lose its supercoolness just because it’s age friendly

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Really interesting article!

I agree on the definition of age-friendly by Kim Walker, founder and C.E.O. of Singapore-basedSilver Group when he says “My definition of age-friendly is when the unique physical needs of older people are satisfied in a way that’s natural and beneficial for all ages”.

By  | May 24, 2012, 5:45 AM PDT

HONG KONG — “By the year 2030, there will be 2 billion people on this planet over the age of 60,” said Kim Walker, founder and C.E.O. of Singapore-basedSilver Group, speaking at a TEDx event in Hong Kong last week.

The company is a consultancy that helps brands evaluate and improve their products for older customers, defined as those who are over 50, and Walker, age 57, made a compelling appeal to businesses to take a close look how “age friendly” they are.

Record portions of the global population will soon be confronting the physiological effects of aging, like worsening eyesight and hearing, arthritis, changing cognitive skills, and loss of taste buds, flexibility and strength. “These things are going to influences the places where we live and work. They are definitely going to have an impact as the world ages,” Walker said.

The Asia-Pacific region in particular, Walker said, has the world’s oldest population (Japan), the largest group of elderly people (China) and the fastest-aging countries (China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore).

To illustrate the effect of this phenomenon, Silver’s website links to a recent Bloomberg articlethat reports sales of adult diapers in Japan exceeded those for babies for the first time last year.

Walker added that older people’s power as consumers will grow more dramatically than that of other age groups, citing a report by MasterCard that predicts three years from now, people across Asia-Pacific aged 65 or older will spend $2 trillion per year.

As businesses are seeking to accommodate this growing demographic, Silver developed an audit tool that is essentially 200 questions that companies can answer about their products, as they pertain to 25 physiological changes that come with age, which then yields a score to indicate how “age friendly” they are.

Walker gave an example of a high-end hotel in Singapore that received a low score: the hallway signage was in low-contrast colors, the room’s complex light switches were attached to finely printed instructions, computers in the lobby required users to stand.

“I know what you’re thinking: I want to transform this whole world into something that’s dumbed down for really old people,” Walker said. “No, it’s not. A brand doesn’t have to lose its supercoolness just because it’s age friendly.”

He said Apple’s iPad is one product that scores high on the audit.

“I’m not talking about bright lights, huge signs, get rid of all steps — no. My definition of age-friendly is when the unique physical needs of older people are satisfied in a way that’s natural and beneficial for all ages,” Walker said.

“If you design for the young, you will exclude the old. If you design for the old, you’ll include everybody, and to me that makes a lot of sense.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Gabriel Synnaeve



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by Vanessa Ko, Hong Kong correspondent for SmartPlanet.


The world’s thinnest home

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How much space need we to live comfortably?

Maybe 40 feet long and less than five feet wide!!

Jakub Szczesny, the Polish architect made a house in Warsaw, Poland that will eventually be the world’s skinniest house. Located between an apartment building and tower.

It is pretty amazing!


Ball bouncing off stretchy jelly

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Here is a new amazing material!

“This material is called: Hydrogels. A hydrogel is a particular combination of polymers that is paradoxically both soft and fragile, essentially a jelly that can shatter. But a research team from Harvard has recently developed a novel strain.

Led by materials engineer Zhigang Suo, the team’s hydrogel “recipe” has created an extraordinarily strong jelly-like substance that can stretch by a factor of twenty without breaking.

Despite its jelly-like consistency, Suo claims that the stuff is so strong that you can’t break it with your hands.

There’s no word on what they’ll use the stuff for, but previous versions of hydrogel—like this velcro-like variant produced earlier this year—are being eyed for medical applications. But what I wouldn’t give to see Suo’s material in the hands of an industrial designer. A seating surface made with the stuff, for instance, could go from flat to expansive. And because the material can go from flat sheet to something far more voluminous, its space-saving applications are potentially tremendous. Whatever the maximum size of the expanded shape of the product would be, you’d be able to store twenty of them in the space of one once the thing had been re-compressed.

What would you use it for?” (article on

Watch here as they drop a steel ball into a sheet of the stuff:



Speaker at PechaKucha Night Cluj-Napoca “ergonomic solutions for elderly”

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The video from PechaKucha night:

Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise.

Presentation by Elodie LEPALUDIER the 12th of june at Huset in Aalborg (Denmark)

Subject: “ergonomic solutions for elderly people ”

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