BAA group design director Raymond Turner has highlighted public transport as “the area where most can be done” to improve design to accommodate older people. “It’s about improving the total journey,” he says, rather than isolating elements with features such as “kneeling buses”.
At last week’s launch of the Design Council’s policy document, Living Longer – the New Context for Design, Turner said there were commercial benefits in meeting the needs of older people, stressing the need for “a strategic marketing plan for inclusive design”.
Living Longer is a “partnership” between the Design Council and the Royal College of Art’s Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, whose director Roger Coleman is author of the document. Designed by Browns, it features photography by Georgina Ravenscroft, Charlotte Krag and James Johnson.
Coleman highlights people’s “changing capabilities at different ages”. He says the biggest growth sector is among the over-80s and that, by 2020, half of the UK’s adult population will be over 50.