Designing to enable an ageing workforce

de Vere, Ian, Dim, Wil and Sheahan, Jacob (2022) Designing to enable an ageing workforce. In: 24th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2022), 8-9 September 2022, London South Bank University, London.

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Designing to enable an ageing workforce
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


An ageing workforce and a dwindling itinerate manual labour supply have long term implications to the commercial viability of industries that require sustained physical activities. The labour recruitment challenges currently facing agricultural, construction, manufacturing and the handling and distribution industries are likely an early indicator of what other industries will face in the future. These trends are driving two significant concerns for an ageing workforce: maintaining the health of increasingly older workers and dealing with the complications of participation in the labour force for these individuals.
This paper details a teaching and research project conducted in collaboration between the Safeness by Design initiative and the Innovation Centre of WorkSafe Victoria, a government regulatory body that enforces health and safety policy. The project aimed at moving the sphere of influence of WorkSafe from reactive policing activities towards preemptive action, compelling innovation and new discourses on workplace safeness, employment longevity and the empowerment of ageing workers.
The project consisted of a research investigation of ageing and wellbeing issues, and workplace safeness, together with a taught component, a design studio that challenged students to consider physiological, behavioural and technological factors in the generation of design proposals for safe and supportive future workplaces that enable and empower an ageing workforce to continue to make a valuable contribution.

Keywords:design education, social innovation, safeness by design, design for ageing
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W240 Industrial/Product Design
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Design
ID Code:53702
Deposited On:30 May 2023 10:24

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