This chapter discusses the collaborative research project ‘Design for Ageing that brought together stakeholders from academia and industry, to engage with active ageing participants in the co-design of smart functional clothing, with wearable electronics. The prime objective was to develop a functional clothing ‘layering system’ for participation in walking comprising; close-fitting body layer garments, with vital signs and activity monitoring, moisture management base layer styles, mid layer insulating garments, with warming devices, and outer layer protection, providing multi-modal user interfaces to facilitate outdoor healthy exercise, social engagement and enhanced well-being. Co-design methodology, new to clothing design, was adopted to help to explain complex terminologies and practices between both academic and industry stakeholders, including technologists in electronics, clothing/textiles, and gerontology. This collaborative research has contributed to training a new breed of cross-disciplinary academic researchers, in tried and tested co-design process with industry practitioners and end-users.
This chapter discusses the design of the NDA Programme, examining six different NDA projects. These projects range from virtual images to step and stair negotiations, to clothing design and manufacture. The chapter begins with a discussion of the aspects of ageing that are critical to the design process, such as inclusion, staying active, feeling connected and empowerment. It then considers designer competencies and interactions with user groups. It examines two specific projects, ‘Design for Ageing Well’ and ‘Transitions in Kitchen Living’. The chapter ends with a discussion of synergy across the six projects, despite the different research emphases and disciplinary contributors.