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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 Ant├│nio (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 julie@dialoguecafe.org

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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. https://vimeo.com/dcafe 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