Designed by Sheng-Hung Lee and Ziyuan Zhu, 2021.
| Smart Footwear for the Aging Population |

2021 ─ International Design Conference (IDC) (prototyped online co-creation)
2021 ─ International Conference of Experience Design (keynote speaker)
2021 ─ The 8th Bandung Creative Movement (BCM) Conference (published paper focusing on design methodology)
2020 ─ MIT Sandbox Innovation Funded Project
2020 ─ Spark Award, Bronze ─ Concept, Student
2020 ─ Design Management Institute (DMI) Conference (published paper focusing on design methodology)
2020 ─ HCI International Conference (published paper focusing on expert interview)
2019 ─ ing Creative Workshop (prototyped online co-creation)

The purpose of the study is to understand the aging population’s ergonomic, health-related, safety-related needs while using in-home footwear/slippers through target user and expert interviews coupled with relevant surveys and market research. In this way, their key pain points can be identified that help comes up with an aging population in-home footwear by applying a human-centered design approach paired with system engineering frameworks and methodologies. The study demonstrates the design thinking process from the stage of inspiration, ideation, to that of implementation to illustrate the complete and solid product design and development process. And it concludes with a suggested solution including product design, service model, and user experience and scenarios, as well as a set of principle-level design considerations for the future research of the aging population’s in-home footwear.

Design for the aging population can be viewed as design for the extreme users. Because of the elderly’s age, physical limitation, mental health, behaviors, life status, relationship with families, and other factors, designers need to consider carefully, comprehensively, and critically prior to plan and design products, services, and experiences. The critical part of this project is to embed technology into the elderly’s unconscious behaviors e.g. the number of their footsteps, walking patterns, the time stayed in certain areas of houses/spaces to meet people’s needs without changing their behaviors. The value of this project is to unlock the potential of the elderly’s data through IoT devices e.g., smart footwear tracking their trajectories, health conditions, fall prevention, and more health-related functions. In the long term, space designers and data scientists might apply these data to the target users’ (the elderly’s) environment and experience design. In this project, IoT devices are vehicles to capture people’s behavioral data. Data is a vehicle to inform and suggest the critical decision-making process for designers or leadership teams.

Special Thanks to
Project AdvisorsProf. Olivier de Weck (MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics), Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin (Director, MIT AgeLab), Prof. Maria Yang (MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering), Prof. Jonathan Chapman (Carnegie Mellon University School of Design)
MIT AgeLab: Dr. Lisa D'Ambrosio (Research Scientist), Dr. Chaiwoo Lee (Research Scientist), Dr. Julie Miller (Research Scientist),
Taylor Patskanick (Technical Associate II), Alexa Balmuth (Technical Associate)
MIT Sandbox Innovation: Timothy Collins, Andrew SaLoutos
Zhou Xuan Studio
Zhou Xuan (Language Expert)