Seeing Timeless Rebels

Yoni Lefevre, Master of Research

Seeing Timeless Rebels

“Falling for old stereotypes, that would be my fear, I want to be different then all the other oldies, no offence” – Boo, age 14

Boo is not an exception in having a fear for ageing. One in four millennials think it’s very normal to be unhappy and depressed when you’re old (RSPH, 2018:5). People’s perspectives on ageing remain largely negative, in part due to the way older people are represented in the media. Considering that everyone is ageing from the moment they’re born this research project hopes to contribute in opening up the discussion about ageing to a broader audience, not only the people who are affected by it.

I carefully designed an ”interview toolkit” to visually document participant’s experiences of ageing and their perceived image of a typical older person identified by their characteristics, visual appearance and social situations. The interview toolkit consisted of two foamboard boxes with a wooden frame supporting a paper canvas. Cardboard sticks with the answers on it could be inserted into the foam canvas to create a 3D visual map. The interview toolkit is further explored in an intergenerational participatory workshop about their preferable image of growing older. The key insights form the basis for a set of design guidelines to improve the visual representations of older people in Scotland. In addition, the use of the interview toolkit is going to be tested out with upcoming local intergenerational programs in Moray.

Investing time and money in engagement tools communicates the professionalism and expertise of the researcher, and shows the value they place on the participant’s knowledge, which encourages the quality of the conversation. In addition, the physical documentation of the conversation enables participation in the process of analysis and makes the data gathering transparent and collaborative.

Yoni Lefevre
Master of Research (MRes)
The Glasgow School of Art, Innovation School

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