NOVEMBER 2019 ISSUE ZERO
What is Enlightenment?
The Rise of a New Demographic Segment The Youngâ€“Old
Things For Later Considerations on a Product Culture in Flux
Capturing the Age
Dress up 70+
First Things First / Points of Youth
 Ageing in Place
Food for Thought
text by Rebecca Carrai, Natalia Skoczylas
text by Deane Alan Simpson
photos by Lorenzo Acciai
text by Kathrina Dankl
text by Anna Ivanova, Miron Zownir
text by Evi Olde Rikkert
illustrations by Duccio Stefanelli
illustrations by Robert Nicol, text by Harriet Foyster
text by Rebecca Carrai, Natalia Skoczylas
What is Enlightenment?
REBECCA CARRAI Rebecca Carrai (Italy, 1992) is an architect, PhD researcher at KU Leuven University and visiting scholar at the Architectural Association School of London. Obsessed with history, fashion and aesthetics, she studied humanities and philosophical sciences, before venturing into architecture. After working for the Danish firm BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) in Copenhagen, she graduated with honors at the Faculty of Architecture in Florence (Finn Juhl, architect, December 2017). Her work combines architecture and urbanism with philosophical and anthropological subjects through various media and multiple forms. NATALIA SKOCZYLAS Natalia Skoczylas (Poland, 1987) is a Berlin based political scientist, music critic, researcher and cultural professional. She has lived and worked as a nomad for almost a decade, consulting UNDP in Nepal, teaching at the university in Indonesia (and curating a musical instrument museum there as a side project), studying megacities in Iceland, among other occupations and places. Currently, she is mostly busy with becoming an artist and an art curator, working with different art and activist collectives around Europe.
The publishing of the essay “Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?” by Kant in the German periodical Berlinische Monatschrift in 1784 started a debate in which mighty thinkers of the time, from Hegel to Nietzsche, to Max Weber, to Foucault, tried to answer the question: what is enlightenment? The urge to understand what knowledge, agency and understanding are has always been haunting the human kind since its very inception. The 26th Biennale of Design of Ljubjana, under the motto Common Knowledge, is addressing a related topic: the information crisis. The notion of ‘common knowledge’ refers to what people know, what people think and how they structure their ideas, feelings, and beliefs. Furthermore, the term carries a sense of communal or shared knowledge, as well as a sense of ‘truth’. But what is ‘truth’? “The essence of truth is in itself un-truth” (Heidegger)
Information chaos characterizes our era. In times of fake news, post-truth, and alternative facts, institutions considered to be pillars of knowledge are yet again facing the question of what are truth and facts. Cultural institutions are being shaken to their cores and replaced by social media and their mediators. Just as the entire mode of existence of human collectives changes over long historical periods, so too does their mode of perception. (Benjamin, 1935) Following Nietzsche and Foucault, we believe that knowledge does not “detach itself from its empirical roots, the initial needs from which it arose, to become pure speculation subject only to the demands of reason”. In order to answer the Question, it is necessary to locate the subject historically and analyze the strands of discourse and practices dealing with the subject itself. Either by breaking with it or by taking it into a critical account to build upon it, man has always been embedded with his past. Through the analysis of the stratification of roots, paths and past event, mankind has been able to attempt the understanding of present phenomena. A mode of relating to reality, which does not require the entire liquidation or replacement of what already existing, but a statement of the problem. On the occasion of BIO 26, the pressing issues of our primary institutions of knowledge production and transmission have been addressed through an experimental Designathon process. Our project, at this point quite different from how we began, came to being with an ambition to draw attention to something essential to the experience of being on this planet: ageing, but even more so, to the institutional, cultural, economical, social, architectural, and other frames, by which this experience is determined in contemporary societies. At the same time, it is an attempt to question, and possibly shift, our perception of one of the fundamental institutions of contemporary society, by trying to find answers to how retirement home came to being, why is it important, what is the ideology behind it, but also what is its role in a wider context?
As an interdisciplinary team, we have engaged in a discourse with a local retirement home in Fužine and its inhabitants. By setting forth the issue of increasingly aging populations and the need to investigate available solutions and approaches to this demographic change, we have stated the question of pension and experience of life in elderly age in present times, following up already existing conversations on the topic. So, what does the question of knowledge and information have in common with a retirement home? To begin with, retirement home is an institution, a social one, for that matter, defined by sociologists as “a complex of positions, roles, norms and values lodged in particular types of social structures and organising relatively stable patterns of human activity with respect to fundamental problems in producing life-sustaining resources, in reproducing individuals, and in sustaining viable societal structures within a given environment” (J. Turner, 1997, The Institutional Order, New York: Longman). As a, at least potential, producer and transmitter of knowledge, we think retirement home needs to be shaken up and opened to new roles and encounters. By using a series of soft interventions and spatial changes, curated props and conversation starters we want the visitors of this Biennale to engage with the older population. We want you to access the knowledge, wisdom and experience that traditionally played a much more important role in societies. Decades ago, and still in many non-Western societies, those who aged kept the identity, traditions, stories and experience crucial to continuity, culture-making, and survival of communities. The textual and visual hints are there to paint a backdrop to a changing world and demographics, to present some of the ways in which people decide to age, and feed your imagination when filling in the questionnaire, which is the core of this ongoing research. Can these experiences, stories and encounters help us navigate the world where the concept of truth and fact disintegrates? Can they help us re-establish common values as societies and communities? The system of retirement, in the way it is set up nowadays, provides few alternatives or compelling scenarios for next generations. The gradual isolation of the elderly from the wider society seems to be pivotal to the ‘contemporary’ idea of retirement. On the one hand, there has been a huge increase of old adults spending their time alone in their homes. On the other, they have been enclosed in institutions that rarely provide dignified standards of living, not to mention the social network and embeddedness that would prove beneficial for both the residents, and the ‘outside’ society. It looks as if we were retiring ideas, stories, skills and a wealth of knowledge along with the people who carry them around, disregarding the massive importance they have for the continuity of humanity. When we talked to some of the residents of the Retirement Home we worked with, one could notice how humbly they retreated with their ideas and importance, saying they’d rather learn from the young than teach them anything - because what matters now is skills that land you a job and keep you afloat, not the skills of the past.
Yet, we have much to learn from them: empathy, care, kindness, human contact, or how to value time differently. In the breaking-neck speed of contemporary world we become detached from ourselves and from others, the social bonds dissolving in the race for wealth, career, increasingly similar to a race for survival. What can we learn from those who remember wars and hardships of the times we can’t remember anymore? Do these experiences contribute to our preparedness for climate crisis and inevitable, massive changes in our lifestyles that lay ahead of us in the very near future? What really matters in life? How can we live our lives ‘better’? How do we live together? We knew the experiences are there, and we had to try unlocking and unpacking them to the others.
responsibilities, as only this way we can feel empowered and encouraged to create futures we want to inhabit. And we do believe in plurality; the more visions, the more likely it gets to find one that really suits our needs and expectations. This issue of the magazine is indeed an attempt at plurality and diversity. Our authors tackle questions and challenges related to aspects of aging and retirement, from clothing to homelessness, to the evolving demographic degment, The Young-Old, tools for aging bodies, or the lack of belief in the institutions and need for fresh scenarios and imagination. These might help you visitor to think of the dream for your future, and open up your own path to the Academy of Life.
Another point of our investigation is the dream While shaping the various pieces of the project, we took into account different voices from interviews conducted across Europe - Berlin, Florence, London, Ljubljana, Paris, etc. We have noticed that majority of those below 40 years did not want to think of their own retirement and found it rather hard to come up with more concrete ideas or dreams about it. Zooming a little bit further into this picture was usually incredibly difficult, yet, we believe it is necessary. The dreaming and the positive, utopian - or even dystopian - visions that each one of us should create in the process of imagining ourselves as elderly in as much detail as possible, might allow each one of us to plan and prepare for this phase of our lives much better. Furthermore, these visions might contribute to the creation of a wider range of alternative modes and ways of retiring for others, encouraging us all to think outside of the given, limited scenarios, and pursue happiness in creating the life each one of us finds worth living. We need to keep in mind that the dream of being taken care of, the dream of retirement as we now know it, is gradually falling apart as a viable option for those born in the past few decades. The economic systems backing these solutions are decaying. The access to properties is increasingly difficult, wealth of the households has stalled, or dwindled, in the past decades, in many developing countries. People are unsure of what kinds of futures are ahead of us, and our trust in institutions is declining. This is why we came up with the second element of our intervention: an ongoing global debate we’re opening to our visitors, and whoever wants to take part, which starts with the dreams and expectations. This exercise happens via the Questionnaire, which you can fill in digitally or on paper. The answers are as anonymous as you want them to be, and they will be analysed using an open-source ethnographic tool, which will try to understand what people wish for for their retirement, and consequently propose new solutions and approaches based on their responses. Responses will be available online and form a basis of a global online conversation, which is open to anyone at any point and creates a unique space where a mature, complex discussion about what aging and retiring means in the XXI century to us. We believe in the urgency of having a positive, constructive discussion around these basic social relations and
The Rise of a New Demographic Segment The YOUNG–OLD
DEANE SIMPSON Deane Simpson is professor of architecture, urbanism and urban planning at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK) School of Architecture in Copenhagen. After receiving his PhD from the ETH Zurich, and masters degree in architecture from Columbia University in New York, he has taught at several institutions, including the Architectural Association in London and the ETH Zurich; and practiced with the architectural studio Diller + Scofidio in New York. His ongoing research addresses contemporary urban and architectural phenomena, exploring themes such as: the urban implications of large-scale demographic transformation; social and environmental sustainability within urban and regional settings; problems related to the securitization of public space; and the spatial conditions aligned to the transformation of Nordic welfare systems. His work has been published in architectural journals such as Volume, Harvard Design Magazine, AD, The Architectural Review. He is coeditor of The City between Freedom and Security (2017), Forming Welfare (2017) and Atlas of the Copenhagens (2018). In 2015, Deane released the book Young-Old: Urban Utopias of an Aging Society, published by Lars Müller Publishers – from which the following text is excerpted.
Several years before social historian Peter Laslett would develop his work on the Third Age, a more-or-less equivalent term, the Young-Old, was coined by American gerontologist Bernice Neugarten in her 1974 article “Age Groups in American Society and the Rise of the Young-Old.” The term Young-Old is contextualized by Neugarten with other discernible periods in the life cycle which emerged at particular historical moments, such as “childhood,” which emerged with industrialization in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and “youth” and “middle-age,” which were both developed in the 1950s and 1960s. According to Neugarten: “We are presently undergoing still another changing perception of the life cycle and still another meaningful division is appearing: namely, a division between the young-old and the old-old. Although chronological age is not a satisfactory marker, it is nevertheless an indispensable one. At the risk of oversimplification, the young-old come from the group composed of those who are approximately 55 to 75—as distinguished from the old-old, who are 75 and over.”
Therefore, the principles and ideas of Third Age living are a mockery for the poorer old, who have been and lamentably still are, so large a proportion of those in retirement.” Such a statement raises the important issue of economic access to the Third Age, an issue that has become more rather than less felt in recent decades characterized by increasingly uneven distributions of income and wealth, the contraction of public pension provisions, and the general effects of the crisis and recession that began in 2007.
Although Neugarten describes an overlap between the self-perceptions of the middle-aged and the Young-Old, she distinguishes the Young-Old from the middle-aged according to an arbitrary, yet meaningful, life event: retirement. The Young-Old are those who have retired, just as the middle-aged are distinct from adults as their children have left home. Neugarten proposes, through the introduction of the terms Young-Old and Old-Old, to acknowledge a broad and varied set of predicaments among the aged that is intended to challenge the uncritical adoption of a set of stereotypes of “older persons as sick, poor, enfeebled, isolated”.
It is necessary to emphasize that the term leisure does not only encompass activities normally associated with retirement lifestyle marketing such as golf or tennis—which often involve considerable expense—but the general use of time not allocated to work. In this context, “leisure” does not necessarily imply the consumption of products, and therefore expenditure, although this has developed as the way retirement has been sold. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the three broad measurement techniques described above determine that the nations experiencing the Third Age are those of the so-called more developed nations, including the regions and nations of Western Europe, Scandinavia, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Neugarten’s portrait of the Young-Old describes individuals possessing attributes that include: a surplus of spare time and the possibility to contribute to their community in social and political terms; relatively good health status; a higher level of education than those previously in their age group; and relatively high purchasing power. These qualities define a different type of person from traditional images of old age in which the group is characterized as alienated and derelict. The transformation of the role of this age group in society involves both a departure from the older person as a “repository of wisdom, and from the role of economic producer or worker, to that of a user of leisure time. In that new role the young-old may be regarded as the first age group to reach the society of the future.” Neugarten’s work on the Young-Old in the mid-1970s was acknowledged just over a decade later by British social historian Peter Laslett as one of the key influences in the development of his expanded concept of the Third Age, described extensively in 1989 (A Fresh Map of Life). For him, the term Third Age is an outcome of a shift in the developed world most marked in the middle of the twentieth century, as the three traditional life phases—childhood, adulthood, and old age—are supplanted by a four-phase schema in which old age is partitioned between the Young-Old (the Third Age) and the Old-Old (the Fourth Age). He claims that due to economic circumstances, for women in their advanced years in the 1950s “leisure, independence and education (this is especially so in Britain), have been and still are lacking as well as money, and this for most men as well.
While individuals experience the period after the Second Age with varying levels of wealth and resources, and thus different levels of independence and access to activities, Laslett’s concept of the Third Age is argued in the context of a broad shift on a mass scale in which “Time, or leisure rather— and a means to use it—has ceased to be the monopoly of an elite made up of hundreds, thousands, or at most in tens of thousands of persons. It is becoming a commodity of millions of our citizens, our elderly citizens, those in the Third Age”.
At the same time as suggesting a measuring system to evaluate which societies have arrived at the Third Age, Laslett questions the universality of its application, for example, on the sheer scale of populations over the age of 65 in the Soviet Union and China, as well as if one considers that there are minority populations of Third Age elites in many other nations that do not, as nations, satisfy the three measures Laslett proposes. The increasing economic inequality challenges its existence as a mass phenomenon against a backdrop of increasingly neoliberal conditions in which public pensions fall in value and individuals are generally expected to supplement them with private pensions, investments, or other forms of income. While the majority of the content of A Fresh Map of Life is dedicated to describing the Third Age as a mode of subjectivity and as a demographic attribute as well as in outlining its historical background, the concluding third is focused upon addressing its implications, in particular addressing how “to use this sudden, unprecedented, unanticipated release from mortality?” This final component operates to a large extent as a manifesto on the potential of the Third Age, a manifesto offered in the face of a lack of existing models. Laslett argues for a negotiation between the two general theories of aging: activity and disengagement. He proposes, on the one hand, a model favoring activity over idleness, one that involves engagement in educational, cultural, and other pursuits.
On the other, he argues for the important social purpose that disengagement plays in allowing for “replacement and renewal” in society, and supporting expanded opportunity for the previous generations. Neugarten’s and Laslett’s work forms a general theory of the Young-Old characterizing a subject as a healthy retiree between the ages of approximately 55 and 75 who is likely to be either married or widowed. As a form of subjectivity largely without precedent prior to the middle of the twentieth century, by the early twenty-first century this group would constitute between 15 and 30 percent of the population in nations of the more developed world. While it is neither possible nor desirable to define the individual subject of the Young-Old as a generic type, he or she may tend toward categorization as an active leisure subject, no longer tied to the conventional responsibilities of adulthood; a subject defined not by his or her position within productive labor but by his or her consumption of leisure. It is necessary to emphasize the Young-Old as a dynamic, transforming subject and not a static, essential one. The Swiss sociologist François Höpflinger describes the importance of cohort effects resulting from “new generations with different life histories grow[ing]old.” Related to generational change and cohort effects, Höpflinger describes the development of “new models for and forms of aging.” Concerning cohort-related transformation, Höpflinger points out the tendency toward the “aging of socially and culturally mobile generations.” For instance, the Baby Boomers benefited from higher levels of education and therefore have been more equipped to react to rapid social and technological change. Such factors contribute to the arrival of the more recent generation at retirement age in a state more active, innovative, and open to learning compared to the generation prior. According to Höpflinger, linked to these transformations is the emergence of new models and forms of aging that are, “increasingly individual, pluralistic, and dynamic,” this includes “increasing divorce rates for longstanding couples, rising numbers of career changes after 45, greater geographical mobility of those 50 and over (old-age migration), and pluralistic approaches to life after retirement.” Tied to this transformation is the diminishing distinction between youthassociated behavior and the behavior of the old in areas such as the use of technologies, communication, mobility, fashion, and consumption. According to U. Beck and E. BeckGernsheim, individualization is defined in terms of the social transformations taking place in the developed world in recent decades in which traditional dominant social institutions— the family, the household, class, and neighborhood—have become increasingly subordinated to individual choice and freedom, supporting a more differentiated and pluralistic society. In the case of the Young-Old, the liberation of the individual from these structures is exaggerated by the fact that there were no clear role models or preexisting institutional structures addressing the Young-Old in the first place.
The Third Age and Retirement as an institution The emergence of the Young-Old as a new form of subjectivity is linked closely to the transformation of forms of social collectivity in later years of life. These transformations occur in social interaction and social networks as well as in the composition of household units, in turn affecting, and being affected by, the modes of urbanity of the Third Age. In the transition from the Second Age to the Third age, social interactions and social networks outside the household unit tend to shift from predominantly work-focused to leisure-centered interactions. For many, this represents a radical break that causes considerable psychological disturbance. The transition from work to retirement coincides with an important shift from compulsory to voluntary activities. According to Laslett, this represents a key opportunity of the Third Age: “The diminution of compulsion in social and individual life may yet free those in the years of personal achievement to create forms of social collaboration previously unknown.” Existing forms of this type of collaboration include the peer- and interest-based modes of association that situate the club, volunteer association, course, or hobby class at the core of the collective social sphere of interaction—defining collective structures often less hierarchical than those associated with work environments. Höpflinger describes the field of collective pursuits for the Young-Old in terms of an evolving expansion: “Social activities that were previously considered the preserve of young adults—sports, sexuality, education, etc.—are increasingly defined as central prerequisites of growing old successfully”. In this regard, the institution of retirement has a relatively recent history. Its emerging dominance took place in the more developed regions roughly in the period between 1880 and 1980 as labor force participation rates for males 65 years or older plunged from approximately 80 to 25 percent in the US, and from approximately 75 to 10 percent in the UK. While this process is often attributed to the introduction of state pensions, it is, to a large extent, also a result of other factors, such as the changing social acceptability and desirability of retirement. Germany became the first nation in the world to introduce the state pension. When first implemented, it would offer pensions to workers over 70 years, an age limit that would be later reduced to 65 years, thereafter becoming the most accepted age for retirement internationally. The actions of Germany were followed by legislation for state-supported pensions in countries such as Denmark (1891), New Zealand (1898), France (1905), Australia (1908), United Kingdom (1909), and Sweden (1913). In the US, the broad institutionalization of retirement occurred through similar legislation and right here there was an emergence of the first experiments in urbanism for the Young-Old. The social and economic beginnings of retirement in the United States began earlier with a variety of private and occupationspecific pensions.
However, historians of retirement point out that retirement itself was not always viewed as desirable on the part of those expected to “enjoy” it. Retirement was commonly perceived, socially, as an embarrassing phase of obsolescence, marked by a corresponding drop in an individual’s self-esteem. These negative attitudes toward retirement were challenged on two main fronts: through the development of sociological theory to support the relevance of retirement; and through the promotion, by those with vested interests, of positive images of retirement in the popular media. Those with special concerns for retirement’s popularity included corporations, labor unions, and insurance companies. During the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, all of these proponents invested a great deal of effort in transforming negative attitudes diagnosed, according to one prominent businessman, as “an absence of ideas about what to do with oneself” during retirement. The cure proposed was a national effort to teach people, starting at age 50, to enjoy leisure. This corresponded to the widespread production of propaganda focused on glamorizing retirement, a procedure achieved by presenting “constant stories of happily retired people telling what they do, but still more, of course, emphasizing what they did to get ready for the life they are now living.” According to William Graebner in The History of Retirement, the selling of retirement had begun in earnest, as evidenced in several hundred newspaper advertisements by insurance companies in the 1940s presenting retirement as “the joy of being at the ballpark on a weekday afternoon”. The marketing project had become extremely successful, and by the beginning of the 1960s “the meaning of retirement had been transformed. It was now a form of leisure, a way of spending time following the conclusion of one’s work life; it was a stage of existence, inevitable but to be welcomed and even celebrated. Once largely a device for maximizing productivity in a bureaucratizing society, retirement had become a state of being, apparently benign, classless and apolitical.” At the same time as retirement was being promoted, its theoretical foundations were being recast. As Graebner describes “retirement was the inevitable result of the need to shorten the work life to spread available work.” The growing positive reception of retirement, and the enjoyment of leisure time tied to it, necessitated a new conception of old age, one freed from the higher levels of activity associated with work life. Retirement, defined as “permission to disengage,” allowed the old to preserve selfesteem while lowering activity levels. Release from the world of work prevented embarrassment caused by awareness among colleagues of diminishing faculties. This dual effort to recast retirement led to an image of the last years of life that was undeniably utopian in nature—a utopia tied to the full-time consumption of a lifestyle of leisure. Additionally, it has been argued, these forms of leisure are ideally suited to the older population, as they do not necessarily require great amounts of physical exertion.
Following World War II, technological advances in outdoor sporting equipment and the techniques with which it is produced have been passed on to consumers in the form of inexpensive products such as tents, waterproof clothing, boats, and cooking equipment, and has played a role in popularizing outdoor leisure activities. Here, the coincidence of the process of retirement’s popularization and the popularization of mass leisure. The narrative of retirement’s emerging dominance as an institution based upon continued diminishing labor force participation rates for men 65 years of age or over up until around 1990 has in some more developed countries seen a partial reversal in the period since. As the UN has pointed out, “as a means of improving the financial sustainability of their pension systems, the Governments of many developed countries have been changing pension regulations in ways that reduce incentives to retire early.” This together with other events and transformations sees an evolving landscape of retirement. This is described in contrast to what is referred to as a largely twentieth-century perspective characterizing “retirement as an event that occurred once in a lifetime and involved an immediate and complete withdrawal from full-time employment.” Higo and Williamson have characterized four categories of alternate retirement behavior in response: partial retirement, involving a gradual reduction in work hours and responsibilities; bridge retirement, also a form of partial retirement but involving “exit and reentry to the labor force, rather than a mere gradual reduction of hours or days worked”; unretirement, involving “workers who reenter the labor force because of unwarranted optimism about their financial security, which had led them to retire too early, or because of unexpected financial shocks in retirement”; and joint retirement, which “involves a simultaneous sequence of work and final withdrawal from the workforce by a working couple.” The economic crisis starting in 2007 has played a further role, impacting private pension funds as well as public pensions within a political climate dominated by “austerity” arguments. Just as this defines an evolving conception of the pathways to retirement, and with it economic precariousness, it is relevant to address how the program of retirement is also in the process of transformation in terms of how it is understood. In particular, this has transformed into a dominant discourse referred to as productive aging focused retirement as politically incorrect. The UN’s productive aging framework positions voluntary work as one of the keys to allowing “older people to stay engaged with society, to use their expertise and to maintain and nourish their sense of purpose, their innate value, and their self-respect.... Because older people are the most rapidly growing segment of the population in many parts of the world, they constitute a major resource waiting to be tapped. Indeed, older people fill gaps that the state and the market are unable or unwilling to fill; and they provide precious expertise, networks and knowledge to many organizations that otherwise would not function so well.”
“When possible, older citizens have a responsibility to remain in the labor market to contribute to the socio-economy, which will also enable retention of skills and minimize the fiscal burden on taxpayers. Employers and society should also support the elderly to enable longer working lives. The elderly have a responsibility to remain active in their communities after retirement. Many old people are eager to be involved in volunteer work to stay active after retirement. Volunteering should be flexible, enjoyable, and oriented towards utilizing the skills, wisdom and the experiences they have developed during their working lives.” Katz and Marshall describe how the advertising industry has contributed to this development “with its portrayals of the new antiageist, positive senior as an independent, healthy, sexy, flexiretired ‘citizen,’ who bridges middle age and old age without suffering from the time-bound constraints of either.” The construction of products and their marketing to this group is based upon demographically informed practices of market segmentation. In these terms, extensive literature and sets of segmentation companies and instruments “transfigure the lifecourse into knowable, codable, and legible market trends, segments, and consumer profiles. As a result, aging as a diverse chronological process and age-related problems based on class, race, gender, and locality are obscured or disappear into coterminous market niches based on the vagaries of ‘mature’ consumer behavior.”
The development of more outspoken positions framing such contributions as the responsibility of the elderly have emerged. For example, the International Longevity Centre (ILC) Japan argues that “society needs to abandon the notion that people make contributions in their working lives in return for support in retirement”:
In the next page: Sun City advertising brochure, 1960 Source: Sun Cities Area Historical Society
Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class, New York, 1899 William E. Henry, Growing Old: The Process of Disengagement, New York, 1961 Doriss Lessing, The Summer Before the Dark, New York, 1973 Dean MacCannell, The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class, New York, 1976 William Graebner, A History of Retirement: The Meaning and Function of An American Institution, 1885–1978, New Haven and London, 1980 Ken Dychtwald, Age Wave: The Challenges and Opportunities of an Aging America, Los Angeles, 1988 Peter Laslett, A Fresh Map of Life: The Emergence of the Third Age, London, 1989 Simon Szreter, “The Idea of Demographic Transition and the Study of Fertility Change: A Critical Intellectual History,” Population and Development Review 19, no. 4 (1993), pp. 659–701 Mike Bury, “Ageing, Gender and Sociological Theory,” in Connecting Gender and Ageing: A Sociological Approach, ed. Sara Arber and Jay Ginn, Buckingham, 1995 Bernice L. Neugarten, The Meanings of Age: Selected Papers of Bernice, L. Neugarten, Chicago, 1996 Andrew Blaikie, Ageing and Popular Culture, Cambridge,UK, 1999 Ken Dychtwald, Age Power: How the 21st Century Will Be Ruled by the New Old, New York, 1999 Peter G. Peterson, “Gray Dawn: The Global Aging Crisis,” Foreign Affairs 78, no. 1 (January/February 1999) Jason L. Powell and Charles F. Longino, Jr., “Towards the Postmodernization of Aging: The Body and Social Theory,” Journal of Aging and Identity 6, no. 4 (December 2001), p. 205 Stephen Katz and Barbara Marshall, “New Sex for Old: Lifestyle, Consumerism, and the Ethics of Aging Well,” Journal of Aging Studies 17 (2003), p. 5 United Nations Population Division, World Population Ageing 2007, New York, 2007 Robert N. Butler, The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life, New York, 2008 Masa Higo and John B. Williamson, “Retirement,” in Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development, ed. Deborah Carr et al., New York, 2008 Donald T. Rowland, Population Aging: The Transformation of Societies, International Perspectives on Aging 3, London, 2012
As older generations, such as our parents and grandparents, fade into their retirement years with some sense of security based on a stable pension, religion and an overall healthy environment - millennials face great uncertainty. What we are witnessing is a generation suffering not only from the perennial maladies of social change but from a particular set of indignities spawned by an economy that extracts and exploits, an educational system designed to enforce those deprivations, and a set of politicians who not only believe there is nothing wrong with this state of affairs but insist on calling it liberty.
LORENZO ACCIAI Born and raised in Italy by an American mother and an Italian father, Lorenzo moved to San Francisco to study at a Waldorf school during middle school. He then moved back to Italy for his high school Scientific Lyceum years. After having graduated, he travelled back to the Bay Area to attend university and study Global Environmental Sciences. While there he came in contact with photographer Macduff Everton who introduced him to the basics of photography. When he returned to his hometown in Florence he decided to attend a three year photography course at Accademia Italiana University in Partnership with the University of Whales. After his graduation in photojournalism he worked as an assistant for artists Nari Ward and Lee Jaffe. More recently he has collaborated with Linda Connor and Paolo Colaiocco. He is currently living in Slovenia and working as a freelance photographer.
Things For Later Considerations on a Product Culture in Flux
K ATHRINA DANKL Kathrina Dankl was trained as an industrial designer, before completing her doctorate in design anthropology. Her doctoral research Very Experienced People: An Ethnography of Design, Ageing and Style (2011), focused on the role of objects across the life course. At Design School Kolding Denmark, Kathrina Dankl currently holds the position as Associate Professor for Welfare Design and Wellbeing. Her research areas include design for health and social care, design diversity, ageing and participatory design. Kathrina Dankl has published widely in conference proceedings, edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals such as Design Studies, The Design Journal, CoDesign and Space and Culture. In her practice, Studio Dankl sees design as a sociocultural investigation, employing research, analysis, co-creation, and dynamic learning to find relevant answers. Many projects received awards and form part of permanent design museums’ collections. Studio Dankl has curated a number of exhibitions such as »Design Diversity« for the Museum Wagner: Werk Vienna (2014) and »Familienmacher« for the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art Vienna (2012) and participates in international design biennales. Amongst many other venues, the studio‘s work has been shown at Salone dell Mobile IT, Mart Rovereto IT and 100% Tokyo JP.
The mentioned exhibition »Design Diversity« focused on a currently changing product culture that contributes to an amendment of traditional conceptions of later life. The aim of the exhibition was to create an awareness of the fact that material culture can embody and change our image of ageing and later life. Below a shortened version of the introductory catalogue text.
“I thought that for me progress was concerned with form. It was a question of learning how to write better, how to acquire a style (…). Progress does stop at some point before death because one is weary, because one is near senility, or because of private worries. But by rights it should go on for a long time. Fifty’s better than thirty-five..” Adieux: The Sartre-De Beauvoir Conversations (1984:414)
Jean-Paul Sartre asserts a somewhat contrasting view as to what ageing means to the individual. “Life must be progress” he says broadly to his partner and interviewer the French philosopher and feminist Simon de Beauvoir in Adieux, taped talks between the couple in Rome and Paris in 1974. These ten years of narrative cover Jean-Paul Sartre’s curiosity for life, his political engagement and work as philosopher, as well as his physical ageing. Sartre obviously connects ageing with progress and the acquisition of a “style”– a rare disposition and idea in Western culture. Margaret Gullette a popular American voice in the field of cultural and age studies contends that we are more aged by culture than by our chromosomes. She argues one may be startled by Sartre’s apparent inability to put his sense of the necessary movement of time together with his own bodily degeneration and she continues: “Decline or growth may be the only narrative imaginaries we have acquired from our culture, if it is western or capitalist, ageist and middle ageist. Progress is the preferred elite choice between these two imaginaries – and not just for existentialists with projects” (Gullette, 2004:70). Gullette argues in her widely influential work that people are ‘aged by culture’, more precisely by the attrition of workplace seniority, by midlife rationalisation, by pressure on social security, or media depiction and stereotype representation of “Best or Golden Agers”, “Xers” and “Baby Boomers” that leave little room and imagination for alternative patterns of life. Gullette sees a potential for combating the influences that age us ahead of time, by changing our individual attitudes profoundly and thus society’s way of dealing with ageing. When Gullette refers to “decline” or “growth” as the two opposing poles and cultural
visions, they can be rendered tangible with two typecast representations of mature age: on one side a negative, dismal image, a model of deficiency, on the other side a marketingdriven, very positivistic picture of the affluent, travelling, active, youthful and, not least, ‘postmodern’ older individual. Between these extreme poles ‘beige’ and ‘gold’, biographies are settled and lived, and these biographies have not been studied nor depicted extensively yet. In this context the show »Design Diversity« discusses the role of the design discipline in co-constructing contemporary images of ageing. It questions if individual ‘style’ is interrupted by stigmatizing products and therefore supports a process of being “aged by culture” (see Gullette 2004). Nevertheless demographics or research about the physical ageing process are delivering rather precise and tangible parameters of ageing, finding a meaningful approach for ‘design and ageing’ lies in an exploration of social and cultural factors contextualising things. Products can be seen as active agents, mediating relationships between people. Things are embedded in social structures and work as instruments for meaning transfer, enacted in kinship, gift cultures, exchange rituals, divestment rituals as shown across disciplines (see Douglas and Isherwood 1996; Gilleard 1996; Miller 2008; et al). Consequently an exploration of things practices that accompany life, will be essential for an understanding of what getting older means for the individual and thus for the discipline of design that aims to make use of its critical and speculative qualities as well as to offer intuitive and meaningful products, services and systems to society.
I argue that there are four influential aspects, connected to the topic of ageing and design. A cultural turn in gerontology was significant thus gerontology as a significant discipline for a comprehensive study of ageing predominately drew on models of decline. This means that the discipline studied the process of ageing as a physical decline while neglecting models of acceptance and growth in older age. Gerontology was thus influential on how other disciplines viewed the process of ageing, not least the discipline of design. Current critical gerontology, however, has opened up towards a more optimistic and holistic study of ageing. Besides gerontology’s cultural turn, contemporary Western demographics mark a second influential aspect, the shrinking number of newborns and the rising number of older people, leads to the fact that older people have developed into a substantial business market. This leads to the third argument: that major changes in demography have supported the evolution of the Third Age (see Laslett 1996).
This newly defined period between professional life and old age is thus imperative for consumption and design because it is connected to an entirely new target group of older individuals, physically fit and financially more affluent than previous older generations, yet with the need for added functionality in many products. These four implications work together and show that there is still a lack of research, a ‘cultural gap’ in design that requires a deeper understanding of contemporary ageing and its consequences for the design of more culturally significant answers to mobility, education, healthcare or dwelling to name a few areas of interest.
Title: Doll Pill Container Design: Quentin de Coster Photo credit: Elodie Timmermans
DOLL is a daily pill container composed of a beech base and three plastic cups. This project reinvents the everyday use of medication in a fun and logical way. Due to its transgenerational aesthetic, DOLL is intended to a wide audience and considers older adults without stigmatizing.
Why aren‘t well designed objects succeeding on the market? Are they not in demand? Does the present product culture reflect our images of later life? Do design proposals not meet the actual demands? Perhaps they are not communicated adequately to the target group?
Title: Leaven Range Design: Simon Kinneir Photo credit: Simon Kinneir
The LEAVEN RANGE are everyday kitchen products with sensory feedback for less dependence on eyesight. Self-confidence in the kitchen improves the autonomy of people affected by vision loss. Temperature, sound or movement serve as amplifiers when using these products.
Title: Ring Pull Can Opener Photo credit: Matthias Aschauer
Temporary products which promises support in everyday life. The claim for the future, however, should be to improve their design quality and thus to make their use more intuitive and attractive.
Bowling, A., “Aspirations for older age in the 21st century: What is successful ageing?”, Ageing and Human Development, 64(3), 2004 Clarke, A. (eds.), Design Anthropology: Product Culture in the 21st Century, Vienna, & New York: Springer, 2010 Dankl, K., Very experienced people: An ethnography of design, ageing and style, PhD dissertation, University of Applied Arts Vienna, 2011 De Beauvoir, S., Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre, New York: Pantheon, 1984 Douglas, M. and Isherwood, B., The World of Goods: Towards an Anthropology of Consumption, London: Routledge, 1996 Gilleard, C., “Consumption and identity in later life: toward a cultural gerontology”, Ageing and Society, vol. 16, 1996 Gullette, M., Aged by Culture, Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2004a Gullette, M., “The Satre-De Beauvoir ‘Conversations’ of 1974: From life storytelling to age autobiography”, in Johnson, J. (ed.), Writing Old Age, London: The Centre for Policy on Ageing, 2004b Laslett, P., A Fresh Map of Life: Emergence of the Third Age, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1996 Miller, D., The Comfort of Things, London: John Wiley & Sons, 2008 www.hhc.rca.ac.uk/199/all/1/history.aspx
Capturing the Age
MIRON ZOWNIR Miron is regarded as one of the most radical contemporary photographers of the last 40 years. He is famous for his uncompromising works focusing on extreme subjects and deviant forms of the human condition.
A DIALOGUE WITH ANNA AND MIRON ANNA IVANOVA, BERLIN, OCTOBER 2019 We met on a sunny Sunday afternoon to talk about ageing, the inevitability of death, and what retirement means for creative professions.
Anna Ivanova You’ve been doing street photography and taking pictures of people who are disabled, dying or dead in different locations: Russia, Ukraine, Germany, LA, New York City. How would you compare the attitude towards age and disabilities in those countries? Miron Zownir
I can’t compare the way people age because this is very individual and depends on their social integration. But there’s a tendency of homelessness all over the world. There are many more homeless people in Berlin now than 20 years ago. I’ve seen people, old people, but young people too, in helpless situations where nobody cared for them anymore. And being old and homeless is the worst fate you could end up with. In Germany, there are probably more isolated old people than, for example, in Egypt where the family bonds are stronger. But if you’re isolated in Egypt without family bonds your living situation is most likely more miserable than in Germany. Even so, the old people’s homes in Germany and the social back up from the government are far worse than their reputation.
You’re planning to continue working as long as possible, as long as you have the energy for it. Do you think that retiring for people with creative professions is more difficult than for the rest?
MZ I think it’s easier. Most people who create have so many breaks in between. I’m talking about people who create successfully. Like an actor, for example, doing a fucking movie, getting a lot of recognition and earning a lot of fucking money. Then he has at least another three or four months until his next movie starts or the next offer comes. What can he do until then? He can lay in the fucking pool. He can travel to Kenya. People who are successful and create have those relaxation times between, that’s why they are still healthylooking at 70 or 80. And if not they have all the means to cosmetically change or improve their appearance. But people who create and create and don’t get anywhere and still have something to say and suffer for the lack of response or recognition, they don’t have a choice. They are most likely driven to continue, obsessed with their failures.
Media doesn’t like to portray older people. What is so prohibited about them?
MZ It’s the same thing with people who are crippled or mentally disabled. That’s something the media rather try to avoid because these are topics that don’t entertain or sell. Unless it’s about older celebrities with a hundred facelifts. I guess with old age people associate mostly ailments, all kinds of health problems, discomfort, weakness, pain and the nearness of death. But being older does not necessarily mean you are not attractive or you don’t have any charisma anymore. Or any other prejudice associated with age, for example, the lack of desire for sex. ISSUE ZERO
Photo credit: Satoru Niwa
That sounds pretty brutal.
MZ I guess. Retirement could be a blessing or a curse. If you've worked in an assembly line, of course, you are fucking glad if you can retire as soon as possible. But your mental or physical condition might be approaching zero. If your job was not just a means of getting by but also a kind of fulfillment and determined your social involvement then it’s hard to step back. AI
If we talk about your subjective experience, can you imagine yourself retiring from what you're doing?
MZ Not by choice and not permanently. I could take my mind off writing or photography for a couple of weeks. Taking breaks. But I definitely could never live without expressing myself in some way or another. As a writer, you could even write laying sick in your bed or locked up in a prison cell. But as a street photographer, you need to be physically fit, you need to be able to walk and deal with the outside world with all its dangers and risks. That’s something you can’t do forever. AI
How would you envision retirement homes?
MZ It should be affordable for all and it should provide the elderly with everything they could dream of. Berlin is too cold and too gray. It has no swimming pools and no palm trees. Not even enough alley cats to get rid of the rats. I don’t know if Berlin is the perfect place to live for elderly people. I would rather go somewhere in the Mediterranean or California. Berlin is getting more and more crowded, more and more aggressive. And it’s getting more and more elderly unfriendly.
How would you depict sexuality of an elder age?
MZ You mean as a photographer? I wouldn’t try to create anyone’s look and I wouldn’t demand anyone’s expression. I wouldn’t say, OK, go that far or do this or that. This has to be coming from the person I take photos of. But if that person doesn’t feel comfortable or doesn’t trust me or the chemistry isn’t right it will show on the photo and it would look cramped, uptight or ugly. With the feeling of being appreciated or feeling sexy, most women or men become more attractive. But attraction or beauty is relative. AI
What would be a formula for sexuality in the elder age?
MZ There is no fucking formula. It depends on how a woman or a man is aware of her or his body. If they are comfortable with it, they will be much more outgoing and they will be much more open. And the chances to find a partner would be much higher. If an older person is tied up, ill or frustrated, has a lot of religious prejudice, a lack of self-confidence or generally doesn’t trust anyone, his or her sexual desire becomes most likely extinct. Anyone who is frustrated, spiteful, uncomfortable with his body or mind and doesn’t believe in himself will never feel attractive and cannot attract other people. AI
So sexuality is ageless, you think?
MZ Oh it's not ageless, at some point it decreases, weakens and stops. (laughing)
Death and dead people are very present in your work.
MZ Especially in my photos from Moscow in 1995. It was such an outraging situation that I couldn’t ignore. People dying in public without any assistance. Maybe now more people would pay attention to it and post it on the internet. In 1995 I was the only one documenting this misery and getting in a lot of trouble with the authorities. But I strongly object to any censorship and believe that everything that really happens should be legitimately documented. Unfortunately, my photos didn’t save anyone because it took forever until they were published or got public attention.
Photo credit: Miron Zownir
Dress up 70+
When a geriatric patient is admitted to a hospital or rehabilitation center, the goal is to improve their physical health, functional ability and wellbeing. Amongst others this requires attention to their complaints, nutrition and socio-environmental circumstances in order to develop an individually tailored, holistic plan for treatment and follow-up. This geriatric assessment and management has been shown to increase the chances of living at home at follow-up and to reduce short-term mortality. Although broadly oriented, geriatric assessment does not take patientsâ€™ clothing into account. Studies show that community-dwelling elderly experience problems in getting dressed and finding well-fitting clothes due to physical changes and reduced mobility, which influence their clothing preferences. Although these studies have some important limitations and the findings have not been linked to health care, they suggest that physical problems might cause clothing problems, which may in turn lead to changes in wellbeing.
EVI OLDE RIKKERT Evi Olde Rikkert is an artist/designer working with textile. For over a year she has been researching the relation between aging and dress (she found that this topic gets too little attention in fashion). Dress is an important factor in everyday life for people of all ages (one of the tools closest to humans) and is often overlooked as significant influence on psychological and social wellbeing. When someone by limitations of aging feels uncomfortable in the clothes he/she has worn before, his/her wardrobe needs to be modified to meet the new practical and psychological (or aesthetic) wishes. Right now older people with aged bodies are wearing clothes made for young people with young bodies. Evi approached the topic of aging in different ways, one of which was a medical research project, of which the highlights are published here in a short report. The research is based on interviews with patients from the geriatric department of the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. These interviews gave insight in the physical, psychological and social problems the patients experienced around clothing. The article can serve as an introduction to further work needed on this theme and inspire other designers to find appropriate design solutions. The article is an excerpt of a broader research project that ranged from prototypes of clothing to video and sound pieces.
Qualitative study about the role of clothing for geriatric inpatients
Authors: E. Olde Rikkerr*, S. Bouten*, M. Perry1, M.G.M. Olde Rikkert1 * 1
These authors contributed equally to this work Dept Geriatrics Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands.
Semi-conducted interviews were performed with geriatric patients, discussing the following topics: the differences in clothing in daily living and during admission; the importance and meaning of clothing in these settings; the influence of clothing on their physical complaints, psychological and social wellbeing, activities of daily living and recovery; and their clothing preferences during admission. Also two focus groups (i.e. group discussions) with nurses were conducted.
Sixteen older patients (10 female) aged 83 years (range 6996), and seven experienced nurses (6-46 working years) participated in the study.
Theme 1 The reciprocal relationship between clothing and functioning
[1.1] Physical Functioning
[1.3] Social Functioning
The participants noticed that their illness might cause clothing and dressing problems. This might be the result of reduced mobility that causes dressing difficulties.
Approximately half of the patients mentioned that the social environment can influence the type of clothes they are wearing. Some patients wanted to adapt their clothes to look more like the others in the hospital or rehabilitation setting and others did consider certain clothes, like pyjamas, not suitable for wearing in public. However, the hospital does not inform patients on this important topic.
Patient 6: ” … [it is difficult] to undress a piece of clothes over my head. And to undress my trousers. Yes, it all goes quite… difficult, because you do not have power anymore.“ However, the medical treatment may also give rise to clothing problems. Certain clothes do not fit anymore due to bandages or catheters. Patient 4: “Well, so, the point just is that normal pants are not worn, because those cannot be pulled over the brace, cannot be pulled over the plaster.” On the other hand, clothing problems might further worsen the patient’s physical discomfort or deteriorate their functioning, and for example cause urinary incontinence or risk of falling. Many patients tried to adapt their clothing to experience less discomfort.
Patient 5: “You have to be admitted to the hospital. I took a pair of pyjamas and you arrive and the others are all wearing their clothes in bed. Then I think they could have told me, then I could have taken something else to wear in the hospital.” Other people can also influence someone’s clothing in another way. First of all, advice or remarks from nurses, family members or other patients might lead to clothing changes. Patient 1: “… But at a certain moment the nurses mentioned that training pants will be more practical for the daily things [care]. Initially I thought: Whatever… but now I’ve got to the moment to say: Just buy two of them…”
[1.2] Psychological Functioning Wearing pyjamas is often associated with being ill or being a patient. This link may result in contra-productive coping styles: some participants deliberately wear pyjamas in hospital because this is considered normal, and consequently remain longer in the sickness role than necessary. On the otherhand some patients deliberately refuse to wear pyjamas, because they do not want to feel ill. Everyday clothing is used as a way to be normal again and to hide the visual aspects of the disease. Patient 11: “I wear these [clothes] here, nothing else… a pyjama blouse and um… a bathrobe… you do not wear other clothes here [in the hospital].” Patient 8: “I would not walk in nightwear or something like that… that makes me feel um, that belongs to illness. And I do not want to be ill. No.” [377-381] Clothing can also influence patient’s mood and the other way around. Some participants associate pretty clothes and certain colors with good feelings. The following accounts illustrate this reciprocal relationship. According to the nurses, clothing can also change patient’s behavior. Patients’ own, everyday clothes can make them more sociable and relaxed.
Theme 2 The Influence of clothing on recovery
Theme 3 Conflict between different roles of clothing during admission
The participants had different ideas about the influence of clothing on recovery. One third of the patients thought it would affect their recovery through psychological or physical ways. Some participants mentioned that physical comfortable clothes can facilitate the exercises during rehabilitation:
The majority of participants consider it important to wear easy to put on and off clothing during the recovery period. Physical comfort during rehabilitation seems to be more important in comparison to normal life for many patients. The training pants are worn because these are “practical, easy to dress, handy, flexible and physically comfortable”. The nurses share the idea of comfortability and moreover, consider elasticated trousers easier to help someone dress.
Patient 1: “And [preference of not tightly fitting clothing], in which you feel comfortable. And that has - that can have an influence on your rehabilitation and the exercises you have to do.” According to some other participants, certain clothes made them feel better or gave them motivation or courage to rehabilitate. That is why one of the nurses thought people’s own clothing would make a difference during rehabilitation. Patient 2: “But um, if you are heading towards something, towards curing for example, then every boost could be important. If you look good in the mirror, it will offer you an outlook for the future.” Approximately half of the people thought clothing does not have an influence, although half of them could not explain their point of view.
Nurse 2: “Or yes, men who arrive here in three-piece suits and have many disabilities, that makes nurses sigh.” Some patients changed their trousers into training pants to meet the nurses’ preferences. However, not all patients were eager to wear training pants, because they considered them aesthetically unattractive. During admission the appearance of the clothing seemed to be less important in general, but still many people considered it important. They explained that their clothes should be “decent, pretty and matching”. Training pants can conflict with social comfort as well. Some people linked the training pants with a certain socioeconomic group of people they did not want to belong to. While wearing the training pants, they felt like they were identifying themselves with this group. Patients had different ways to cope with this conflicting situation. Some of them did not want to wear training pants, others temporarily accepted these clothing because of the impermanence of the situation, the normality of wearing training pants in this setting and the practical advantages for the nurses.
DISCUSSION Clothing was found to have a reciprocal relationship with multiple, sometimes conflicting functional domains. An illness might cause clothing and dressing problems, but on the other hand, clothing problems might further worsen physical discomfort. Moreover, pyjamas are associated with being ill and everyday clothes are deliberately worn to feel normal again. Remarks, advices, the lack of clothing information and social support, and the other patients’ clothing can influence patients’ clothing. On the other hand, clothing influences impressions about a patient which can affect social functioning. Furthermore, it was found that recovery might be influenced by the motivating and exercise-facilitating functions of clothing. Thus, it is likely that clothing has an indirect influence on the patient’s recovery. Former research shows that the physical environment of the healthcare setting can influence the healing process and patients’ wellbeing through physiological or psychological processes. This phenomenon is called the “healing environment”, of which clothing should be regarded as an essential part. Clothing can fasten patient’s recovery through enhancing motivation or through facilitating physical rehabilitation exercises. Paying attention to the outfit provides a new opportunity for patient-tailored care and improved wellbeing. Adapted clothing, like pyjamas and training pants, may be an advantage for the physical functioning, but often have the serious adverse effects of lowering psychological or social functioning. CONCLUSION Health care professionals should take the patients’ clothing more firmly and more widespread into account, because it may influence an individual’s wellbeing and recovery. Adjusted clothing may even guide the clinical pathways towards improved patient-tailored care.
First Things First / Points of Youth
In this issue retirement is presented from three different angles: on one hand the conspiracy theorist, so frightened about the future that he decides not to think about it. On the other hand the average worker counting the days that separate him from his “freedom”, and finally the lucky boy , who doesn’t even need to ask himself none of these questions. A bitter sweet look on a grotesque present.
DUCCIO STEFANELLI Duccio Stefanelli aka DUST (Italy, 1984) has a creative attitude which blows up in various fields, from illustration to street art and music production. In life, he has a classic background and works in a very typical print-office but, most of all, he tries to follow his passions. He strongly believes that everyone has a creative potential that can be discovered, that’s why he holds expression labs with the aim of stimulating everyone’s own inventiveness. More: dust-years.tumblr.com
the world in 20 years: thinking about retirement makes me anxious...
...better enjoy this crappy present. the end
...TO DO WHAT I LOVE the most!
I MEAN, FULL-TIME!!!
I CAN’T WAIT TO GET RETIRED...
MMMH ain’t YOU DOing it NOW?
I DON’T SEE HIs POINT...
...MAYBE BECAUSE preppies LIKE ME...
...have been RETIRED since for ever!!!
Ageing in Place
How do you want to spend the last decades of your life? Surrounded by what kind of people? In what kind of place? We came up with a speculative scenario to stir your imagination and make you consider new possibilities for the future, by showing you a hypothetical, fictional vision of what’s ahead. Inspired by current developments and initiatives concerned with rethinking dwelling for older adults this excerpt intends to provide insight into the potential experience one might have in the foreseeable future. The idea of speculative scenarios ties back to ethnographic research, which constitutes part of the project. Through the Questionnaire we encourage you to come up with your own dream script for your retirement. We believe imagination is a key step towards empowerment and responsibility to make the futures we desire a reality.
Thanks to the SpaceShareScheme*, you share your family home with several other people whom you'd previously never met. How have you experienced living with non-relatives in the intimate setting of the domestic home? Alea Willis: I am so relieved by the waning importance of the bloodline. Not everyone has family that they get along with, that will be there for each other, that live nearby, or even has a family at all. Blood relations have been so central in law, tax, policy, social life - and not to mention tradition and fascism - for so long that when I was young it was difficult to imagine its importance dwindling. I happen to love my relatives and enjoy being in close contact with them, but these widespread steps towards undoing the position of the blood-family as a social priority feel productive, constructive and very liberating. As you mentioned I still live in my family home and since my children left, I share the space with other people. It isn’t subdivided into separate flats, but we live together respectfully and communally. We had to invent more effective and creative ways to utilise space in order to accommodate everyone’s needs instead of having upstairs for sleeping and downstairs for living as before. Now we have many more communal spaces and we all contribute to their maintenance - and by this, I don’t mean only cleaning, but also enriching our shared environment. For example in the study, we all offer books and literature, equipment, and now and again presentations or films. In the kitchen, we have a shared recipe log. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and so the house becomes a great place to learn and share a rich array of resources. When my children first left there was so much empty space that required cleaning and heating, but nobody was around to use it. Now that it’s occupied by such a variety of people, the excess space is used by many in a nourishing and creative way, instead of being wasted.
Besides a reduction in spatial waste, what have you learned from communally living with others in a home environment? AW: I think my favourite thing about this when I get even older will be the lack of hierarchical or central management. We made the house rules together when the others first moved in over dinner and a glass of wine, and once a month we have a house meeting to check that everyone’s still alright and happy with the running of the place. The chairperson rotates so that an unelected leader doesn't emerge, and we take it in turns to cook for the meeting. Most of our decisions work out this way - we care for each other mutually. Nobody is the ‘manager.’ I can’t imagine living in a place where my activities are decided for me on some sort of collective calendar that I haven’t been consulted on. This way we all retain our independence but share responsibilities too. I happen to live with a young man who loves fishing, so when the weather is good I join him for the day and take photographs of his catches before he releases them again. Although I used to take many photographs, technology has rapidly changed so he recently taught me how to use his brand new camera. But our gestures work both ways: I take care of his daughter after our days out whilst he has an evening to himself with his partner. We use the upstairs living room and turn it into all sorts of imaginary places - a jungle, the sea, a rocket ship - whilst they spend time downstairs at the dinner table or by the fire. We have a great rhythm together here - we exchange advice and company. We share groceries too, which saves everyone a lot of money and time.
* The S-S-S (Space-Sharing-Scheme) is a policy that makes it easier for people to age in place by connecting older residents with an abundance of under-occupied spaces with social housing corporations. Through this process, it strives to achieve an intergenerational mix within communities as well as accommodate active social integration of the beneficiaries.
Food for Thought
Cooking and culinary arts play an important role throughout our lives. Perhaps such disciplines might be key ways of selfexpression, care and love that we can employ at the latest stage of our lives. As the expertise in the kitchen accumulates with time - leading every time to more perfected and delightful meals - and we believe in cooking and sharing meals with our close ones as very important rituals in our social life, in the context of BIO26, we have invited the residents of the Retirement Home of Fuzine to help us create a special dessert, one that relates to their tastes, traditions, preferences and stories. The cookies can be ordered at the bar of the Retirement Home as a delight and conversation prop to encourage you to have a talk with the older generations living in the house. Moreover, we have invited Gabriele Galimberti to share with us some of the recipes from his project, Delikatessen aka In Her Kitchen, in which he travelled the world in order to collect stories and meals from older adults living all across the planet. NATALIA AND REBECCA
Many of the residents of the Retirement Home have gone through the Second World War. The menu/desert are inspired by their day to day experiences during that period when polenta was considered a delicacy. The recipes for the deserts have been created especially for the FuĹžine Retirement Home as a way to embrace the lived experiences of the residents. They will be published in each of the zines, with one of them available at a bar in the Retirement Home during the Biennale for you to taste.
POLENTAKLETSKOP COOKIES 30 gr butter 100 gr white caster sugar 20 gr milk 1 tl rosewater Pinch of salt 30 gr chopped almonds 50 gram polenta (fine) 1. 2. 3. 4.
Combine butter, sugar, milk. Add salt, almonds, polenta. Put little bits (1 teaspoon) of the batter on a baking paper on a baking tray. Itâ€™s important to leave a lot of space in between. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 220 degrees Celsius
FINALLY SERVE WITH A CUP OF COFFEE WITH WHIPPED CREAM
INTRODUCTION TO DELIKATESSEN Gabriele Galimberti pays homage to all the grandmothers in the world and to their love for good cooking, starting from his own very Tuscan grandmother Marisa who, before the departure for his tour around the world by Couchsurfing, took care to prepare her renowned “ravioli ripieni”. She was not so concerned about the possible risks or mishaps her grandson might face in his adventurous travelling worldwide, but her major concern was, “what will he eat”? That is because only at home you can eat well and healthly. And above all, only your Italian grandmother (and sometimes mum) knows what is best for you. With the taste of his grandma’s ravioli in his mouth, Gabriele travelled around the world and, next to thousands of other adventures, turned into a curious and hungry grandson for the grannies of all the countries he visited. Appealing to their natural cooking care and their inevitable pride in their recipe, common factors to all grandmothers in the world, Gabriele persuaded them to do their best in the kitchen. This means moose stake in Alaska and caterpillars in Malawi, delicious, but ferociously hot, ten-spice-curry in India and shark soup in the Philippines. He has come back with a cookery book of detailed recipes that mix love, photography and travel amongst the many other exotic ingredients. Indeed, for each grandmother he has produced a portrait of the cook, and easy to follow the recipe and an image of the extraordinary and at times mouthwatering final dish. ARIANNA RINALDO
GABRIELE GALIMBERTI Gabriele Galimberti, born in 1977, is an Italian photographer who frequently lives on aeroplanes, and occasionally in Val di Chiana (Tuscany), where he was born and raised. He has spent the last few years working on long-term documentary photography projects around the world, some of which have become books, such as Toy Stories, In Her Kitchen, My Couch Is Your Couch and The Heavens. Gabriele’s job consists mainly of telling the stories, through portraits and short stories, of people around the world, recounting their peculiarities and differences, the things they are proud of and the belongings with which they surround themselves; social media, in all its forms, is a fundamental part of the research needed to get in touch, discover and produce those stories. Gabriele committed to documentary photography after starting out as a commercial photographer, and after joining the artistic collective Riverboom, best known for its work entitled Switzerland Versus The World, successfully exhibited in festivals, magazines and art shows around the world. Gabriele is currently travelling around the globe, working on both solo and shared projects, as well as on assignments for international magazines and newspapers such as National Geographic, The Sunday Times, Stern, Geo, Le Monde, La Repubblica and Marie Claire. His pictures have been exhibited in shows worldwide, such as the well known Festival Images in Vevey, Switzerland, Le Rencontres de la Photographie (Arles) and the renowned V&A museum in London.
VALAGERDUR ÒLAFSDÒTTIR, 63 YEARS OLD REYKJAVÍK, ICELAND
KJOTSÙPA (lamb and vegetables soup)
Difficulty: medium Time: about 2 hours
4 large lamb ribs 3 turnip (Icelandic typical root) 5 potatoes, 4 carrots, 4 onions, half savoy (cabbage) rice and salt The majority of Icelandic typical dishes are based on soups, but without any doubt the most popular one is the lamb soup. It isn’t very difficult to prepare: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
First of all, place the 4 lamb ribs in a pot with some slightly salted water and bring everything to boil. After a few minutes, you will see that the fat of the meat is floating on the water, creating a thick layer. Throw it away using a spoon. Repeat the same action every 2-3 minutes since the meat will continue to lose its fat for the first 30 minutes of cooking. 30 minutes after the start of boiling, add the vegetables to the soup, all of them thinly chopped except for the turnip and potatoes, which should be in big pieces or even uncut if they are small. Let everything cook for about one hour and then add the rice. Cook for 30 minutes more. Enjoy the soup!
You can add other spices, such as some chilli powder, during the cooking to suit your taste. But be aware that the original soup is without spices! THERE ARE T WO WAYS TO SERVE IT 1. 2.
Separate the meat, turnip and potatoes from the soup and serve them in two different plates (as it is shown in the photo) Take the meat out of the soup and chop it on a dish. Then, take the potatoes and turnip and cut them in small pieces.
FINALLY PUT EVERY THING BACK IN THE SOUP AND SERVE IT
Colophon Fužine – Issue Zero November 2019
EDITORIAL TEAM Rebecca Carrai Natalia Skoczylas TEAM Guendalina Ballerini Rebecca Carrai Natalia Skoczylas Liza Strakhova CONTRIBUTORS Lorenzo Acciai Kathrina Dankl Gabriele Galimberti Anna Ivanova Evi Olde Rikkert Deane Alan Simpson Duccio Stefanelli Miron Zownir ILLUSTRATIONS Robert Nicol GRAPHIC DESIGN Studio Flat / Christian Pardini THANKS TO Harriet Foyster Emily Pickett CAF Fuzine Retirement Home residents and staff
N.44 pages Printed in Italy, November 2019 This magazine is self-funded. If you want to support the creation of the next editions, please buy it at the MAO store. To explore the digital version of Fuzine Issue Zero, please visit bio26.edgeryders.eu
The first edition of a limited Zine, made as part of our work for the Biennale of Design in Ljubljana. The project and the issue are address...
Published on Nov 21, 2019
The first edition of a limited Zine, made as part of our work for the Biennale of Design in Ljubljana. The project and the issue are address...