Future Smart Cities II – Design for our Future Self 1

Future Smart Cities II
Imagine yourself in 2025 or 2050

We had a great session yesterday connecting designers, architects, social scientists, policy makers and social innovators from Lisbon, Amsterdam, London and New York to discuss the challenges and opportunities of an aging society.

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In Lisbon (left) we were joined by Pedro Veiga (FCCN), Ana Fatia (Action for Age), Susana AntĂłnio (Think Public Portugal), Luis Jeronimo (the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation) and Pedro Rocha Vieira (Experimenta Design). In Amsterdam (centre) we were joined by Peter Roelofsma (HealthLab), Sabine Wildevuur (CareLab, Waag Society), Wytse Miedema (Aging Well, Almere Municipality), Martin Kriens (Amsterdam Smart City)  and Sacha van Tongeren (Waag Society). In New York (right) we were joined by Matthias Hollwich (HOLLWICHKUSHNER). In London we were joined by Annabel Knight (The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation), Kevin Johnson (Aging Well, Cisco IBSG)  and Diogo Vasconcelos (Cisco IBSG).
Demographic changes are likely to place huge burdens on pension systems as well as health, housing and care services. There are a raft of new and emerging social needs – such as loneliness, and isolation which will need new and fresh thinking if they are to be addressed. Even though the scale of the challenge is daunting there are a number of new projects and new approaches – around design, ICT and architecture – which could point a way forward.

Each of the projects showcased yesterday have at their core the notion that the elderly are a resource, that all projects should be user driven and user centred –  or put another way, developed by and with, not for, the elderly.

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The discussion started with a presentation of the pioneering and innovative HealthLab project by Peter Roelofsma. The HealthLab project is based on three main strands: ICT to support the elderly to
remain active and live independently, for longer in their homes, through for example, virtual coaches; a social or multi-cultural aspect which places importance on social relationships and provides opportunities for developing and cementing social ties; and architecture which provides the setting for independent living but also the spaces for meeting and social interaction. In this way, the project is developing a holistic approach to ageing.

Then we discussed the need to move away from ICT driven innovation and
explore other fields, other perspectives and approaches to innovation in
the context of ageing. We talked about smart architecture and Matthias
Hollwich presented some of his most recent projects, including BOOM.


Boom is a retirement village like no other – a community oriented development in Palm Springs for LBGT retirees. With projects like these, Hollwich’s remark that “there are 17,000 nursing homes in the US and 17,000 reasons why not to go to a nursing home” is definitely true.


We’re hoping to continue this discussion next month. For more information contact




Future Smart Cities II
Imagine yourself in 2025 or 2050

Hosted by Waag Society ‘s Creative Care Lab & Dialogue CafĂ©

3-5pm GMT March 3rd 2011

Future Smart Cities is a series of intercultural meetings on the future of cities, in light of technological developments, globalization and new opportunities to solve social, economical and environmental issues. The meetings will take place in Dialogue Cafés and Cisco offices all over the world.

Creative Care Lab hosts the second edition of Future Smart Cities about AGEING; Design for our Future Self. This session takes place in Dialogue Café Amsterdam and Lisbon and the Cisco offices in New York and London.
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The world is facing a growing ageing society. By 2020, 25% of the population in Europe will be over 60 and the 80+ populations are estimated to double by 2050. This means a ratio of two working adults for each person in retirement. These demographic changes are placing huge burdens on pension systems as well as health and care services. Issues like isolation, loneliness and wellbeing need full and focused attention in policy. The scale and complexity of the challenge is daunting. Enabling people to work longer and live independent lives will have significant ramifications for the labor market, health and care services, public finance, housing and transportation amongst others.

How can we build urban environments that are safe and healthy for an ageing society? How can we avoid social isolation and loneliness? What are the barriers encountered when building for an ageing community? What are the innovative approaches in the field? What are the most promising new models of care? What new technologies support the elderly to live active and independent lives?

The program Future Smart Cities II: Design for our Future Self is dedicated to these questions and will discuss new ideas and social innovation for our future self. We will discuss smart solutions for the complex issues related to an ageing society with designers, architects, care providers, housing corporations, elderly people and design students. Imagine yourself in 2025 or 2050?

During the session we will highlight one of the current Waag projects: HealthLab, where technology meets users. The project envisions to install a number of user-oriented environments for experiment (Living Labs for Care and ICT), where tangible applications will be developed. In these open experimental environments care and knowledge institutes, the government and small to large companies will be enabled to develop realistic solutions for one of our major social and political problems: how can we guarantee the quality of care and control the cost within an ageing population?



New York
Matthias Hollwich (HOLLWICHKUSHNER)

Peter Roelofsma (VU, involved in the HealthLab project)

Sabine Wildevuur (Waag CareLab, involved in the HealthLab project),

Wytse Miedema (involved in the HealthLab project and the Cisco program Ageing well in Almere),

Ger Baron or Martijn Kriens (Amsterdam Smart Cities, involved in the HealthLab project)

Annabel Knight
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Diogo Vasconcelos,
Distinguished Fellow, Internet Business Solutions Group (ISBG), Cisco – Chair of the Business Panel on Future EU Innovation Policy, set up by the European Commission in January 2009, and since May 2010 member of the High Level Group on Innovation Intensity Indicators. Co-author of the Interim Evaluation of the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme. The report is available at:

Luis Jeronimo
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Action for Age

Susana AntĂłnio,
Designer and Consultant of Think Public Portugal.
Susana is working on IntergenerationALL and Action for Age.
Pedro Rocha Vieira,
Co-ordinator of DesignResponse Unit of Experimenta Design.
DesignResponse is leading the delivery of the Action for Age project in Portugal.
Ana Fatia,
Designer, formerly involved as student on the first edition of the Action for Age project. 

Exchanging knowledge
The goal is to exchange knowledge and experience on what is needed for smarter cities to build for an ageing population. We will have a close look at actual projects worldwide, the variety of smart solutions for these issues and the required infrastructure and architecture.

More about Creative Care Lab & Design for our future self
Within the domain of healthcare Waag Society’s Creative Care Lab researches and develops creative technology for innovative applications following the principle of  users as designers. Creative Care Lab has a long history in research, conceptualizing innovative ideas and building demonstrators working with (rapid) prototyping.

Design for our future self is the title of Creative Care Lab’s public agenda and an open invitation to all in order to help develop a better caring society for our future selves. This program is realized in with support of Amsterdam Smart Cities, Amsterdam Innovation Motor, Waag Society, Dialogue CafĂ©, Cisco.

Partners in this project are: AMSTA, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Hogeschool Inholland, Gemeente Amsterdam, Almere Health City, Sigra, Amste
rdamse Innovatiemotor
, Amsterdam Living Lab

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Hi Ashique, Thank you for your interest! Our cycle is finalised but more sessions on crafts will take place at Dialogue Cafe. For instance you can visit our profil in vimeo and attend online some sessions recorded. Otherwise we plan to publish a book with the recommendations and findings of our discussions on crafts. Keep posted! Thanks again for your interest DC team
daliasendra on 2019.07.29