Elder and Younger
Updated 2 years ago
International Design Summer School, Jiangnan University, Wuxi


  • To provide participants with, a cross-cultural background and global design concerns.
  • To help them feel the difference in design issues and ways of thinking across cultures.
  • Understand each other's culture and establish efficient communication of the context.


Aging has become a big issue that is faced by not only developed countries, but also China. It brings about a series of social and economic problems that have already begun to cause negative material and spiritual impact in everyday life. At the same time, India is ready to enjoy the demographic dividend just as China did 20 years ago. Due to the relatively high proportion of young people, if the education level and health insurance can be promoted rapidly.
The world develops in a circle. Ideas, lifestyle and values of the Chinese millennial are changing dramatically, similar to the condition in the developed Western world several decades ago. This complex social status in some aspects has posted a huge challenge to design innovation. It is here that designers from different cultural backgrounds collide and cooperate with mutual assistance to come up with possibilities of innovative thinking and design.


From Left to Right: Yiyu Guo (Ida), Liyuan Ge (Joyce), Jayant Kumar, Claudio Siragna

Field Research

The research aspect entailed observation, interviews and general immersion in the topic. The gathering of information and data took place in spaces such as malls, housing communities and on the street. We also visited various communities and social areas. The local community center is where the elderly gather and spend their free time teaching and learning various activities.


Designer's role as a THINKER and a STORYTELLER

Elder with Younger The connection between elderly and the young
Elder or Younger The emerging active aging
Elder for Younger The roles of elderly in families, communities and society
Elder of Younger To perceive being elders of yourself
Elder to Younger The elderly in the eyes of the younger
Younger for Elder Responsibility towards the elder
Elder and Younger All of the above

Intervention Points

Shopping Blues:

The elderly have a problem while shopping their day to day supply items in new mega stores. Variety of items to choose from is large, causing confusion. Placement/ arrangement of products is not inclusive. Essential details like expiry dates and manufacturing details are difficult to find.

Granny's cooking

A lot of college kids live away from home and desire home cooked food. Where as elderly couples often have food left over. Food could become a common denominator between the two generations.

Ancient House

The biggest gap between the two generations is of technology. It is an essential part of kids' life today, but the elderly do not find it that easy to use. So kids visiting their grandparents often find their house boring. The grandparents themselves have no clue how to setup the technology.

Grandpa at Work, Grand kids at work

Often grandparents are interested in their grand kids work, even the reverse is true. An office event like this could be something to look forward to.

Final Concept

A Friend Indeed

Often we meet strangers, who go out of their way to help us. Complete strangers who provide a helping hand. But, in the rush of the moment we often forget to thank them. It is only later we think that, it would have been good to talk to them or even become friends. We regret not having said thank you, and hope we might see them again.
Very few get the chance to know people met this way. There are chances you might see them again, but it is often tough to recognize a face at a glance. In our Utopian scenario, every deed is recorded. If someone, who has helped you before, is in the vicinity, you get the chance to initiate contact. You can reciprocate or just say thank you. The more you help the bigger your network becomes. This is a concept of a Real Social Network.
It is not just the question of helping someone. It is about not losing a possible friend.

Jayant Kumar
Game Designer - Student