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Designing Inclusive Products with Image Schemas (INCLUDIS)
Start date: Jul 1, 2009, End date: Jun 30, 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"By 2020, one in every two European adults will be over 50 years in age. As old age brings along reductions in sensory, cognitive, and motor abilities, product development methodologies have to adjust. While sensory and motor abilities are relatively straightforward to measure, cognitive abilities are more elusive. The proposed project is concerned with developing and testing a framework model of cognitive abilities that helps practitioners in designing more inclusive products. The goal is to minimise the number of people excluded from or who experience difficulty with using mainstream products. More specifically, the objectives are (1) to develop an integrated framework of cognitive functioning for inclusive design, (2) to test the predictions of this framework for different products and verify their fitness for practical purpose, and (3) to derive and evaluate practical guidance that results from this framework and from the empirical findings. The integrated framework combines a traditional model of human cognition with image schema theory – an account of subconscious knowledge representation that predicts to be useful for inclusive design. The project allows extending the fellow’s previous research on image schemas in the domain of inclusive design for which the host institution has a renowned expertise. The new competencies acquired by the fellow during his stay in the host institution will contribute to the development of his scientific career and future research."

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