DESIGNING FOR AGING POPULATION: PHOTO-NOVELLA AS RESEARCH TOOL AND BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAPS

C. Thian

National Heritage Board (SINGAPORE)
The increasing popularity of digital photography, combined with global social networking presents vast opportunities for instantiating both learning and teaching as a social practice (Barton & Hamilton, 1998; Lave & Wenger, 1991). This paper describes the use of photo-novella as a visual research tool to obtain clients’ insights through their views and how students shared their photographs and findings collectively through a social networking site to identify common themes and values of their target audience. This framework allows people to maintain mutual awareness by exchanging and commenting photographs.

Rather than seeking inspiration and understanding from the media, the findings from this visual research provided a source of inspiration which is derived from reflection and examination of the elderly who are part of their everyday lives. 60 students aged 18-20 years old used the personal values that they drew from their research of the individual informants to design a digital graphical outcome that represented the elderly. The paper further discusses the relationship that is formed between generations through this activity, as well as the learning experience for both elderly and students.

References:
[1] Barton, D. & Hamilton, M. (1998). Local literacies: Reading and writing in one community. London: Routledge.