Sometimes empathy is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes – literally. This project takes a proactive and creative approach to understanding what life is like for someone 40 years older. It’s about actually meeting people in their experiences and learning from them, rather than assuming based on our own ideas.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to age 40 years in a matter of minutes?
By 2030, 20% of U.S. residents will be 65 or older, according to census data. Figures like that are part of what’s driving the use of age simulation suits, which let designers experience the physical impairments of old age while navigating public spaces.
Samantha Flores and Mike Steiner with the Dallas-based architecture firm Corgan each donned the suit — which weighs about 30 pounds and adds four simulated decades — in public settings like an airport to better understand the challenges elderly people face simply moving around.
They say the idea behind the experience is to apply that firsthand understanding to make their building designs more empathetic and accessible.