Actual Bodies are Ageing Bodies

IDWoP. Interaction Design and Work Practice Lab
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of The 2nd International Body In Design Workshop, 2012, pp. 28 - 31
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Drawing from the work of Merleau-Ponty, this paper takes some initial steps towards a phenomenological account of the specificities of ageing bodies and the consequent implications for both policy development and the potential contributions of social and tangible technologies. Ageing bodies have been in the making for many years, long enough for their various individual genetic and environmental influences to have expressed themselves, intertwined with the inscriptions made on them by actual life experiences, such as the work they did, how well they have been looked after and various random life events and accidents. A phenomenological account enables us to understand the opportunities and constraints our embodied histories provide for the appropriation of new technologies according to the social and cultural worlds they enable us to inhabit. This would suggest approaches to both design and policy making that prioritise the flexible use of new technologies that are configurable by and to the diverse and specific capacities of the actual bodies of ageing people.
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