initiated January 2007
In what ways can we engage children as participators in the design of products that are not for them? During the Ageing Futures project it became apparent that many of the older participators wanted to engage with technologies primarily to interact with their grandchildren. Getting these groups together in one room for a coherent workshop, however, is somewhat a challenge. Rather than seeing this as a problem, however, it may be productive for designers to explore the creative and observational abilities of children; very often they pick up on happenings that are often ignored by the supposedly educated and experienced.
Meet Ted is a playful narrative of the observations made by the children aged between 5 and 12 during a number of workshops for the latter part of the ageing futures and photo reel projects. Whilst the primary focus was to keep the children focused and engaged in the workshop, it was also a useful heuristic tool for their own understanding of what it is some designers do, and why Granddad is not very good at writing emails (but might be in the future). A small book was produced for all the children to take home with them, whilst their observations added to the knowledge developed from the workshops.