Dialogue With Time
- What were some of the feelings, thoughts, challenges and insights gained while role playing an elderly person?I really enjoyed the Dialogue with Time exhibition. The first area that we visited felt like something more for children as some of the games/interactive elements we not working very well but I gained some insights on how to educate the general public with different types of mediums. I also enjoyed the guided tour. The video was a great way of showing how subtle aging is and emphasizing the notion of aging at every moment unknowingly. What I enjoyed the most was the yellow room. The parkinson’s simulator was very effective in trying to get us healthy people to actually experience and empathize with people with parkinson’s. Another interactive element that I thought effective was the station where we had to sort the pills according to colour, day and time. All these activites worked to show us the hardships that the elderly go through and remind us to be thankful for our current able-bodies.
- Drawing on your experience, can you think and list some of the benefits inherent in the design research technique of role playing?I think role playing lets us get into the shoes of the elderly and thus spark empathy. It leads to design that gets us to care as we can actually experience the hardships and relate to them. It makes us feel – helplessness, frustration etc which relates greatly to the elderly. I think the designs are very creative in that sense. It also addresses preconceived notions about the elderly and helps us understand them better. This design method also helps to see the effectiveness of imparting knowledge and understanding with the interactive elements by getting people to interact and checking for feedback. In the pink room, you get to hear stories from the elderly first hand. It isn’t roleplaying but I think the setup of the space was very well thought out. It felt personal, private yet welcoming, with the enclosed fabric wall juxtaposed with the colour pink and cartoonish drawings on the fabrics.
- Can you think of some contexts where role-playing can be useful to help discover and define design challenges or contribute to the development of design solutions?In the context of my project idea, I think it might be pretty useful as humans don’t really see themselves through the eyes of an animal often. Role-playing needs to create a deep understanding and empathy for the audience. It has to ask questions regarding who the design is for and try to find a way to translate it to the public. It is useful as it manages to put people in a different position from what they are normally used to. When applying design thinking, i think role-play is helpful with addressing social issues or issues that we don’t normally care to think much about. Homelessness, ageing, inequality etc. Role-play itself doesn’t actually solve much but it guides people along a journey to try to understand the plights of others and bring them to light, and it could sometimes be more effective than traditional advertisements or designs.