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Release of a design research report targeting 170 people in the 3 locations of Tokyo, Yoshino, and Chengdu (China) to explore the reality of how to face "old age."

  • 06.02.2017
  • Loftwork.inc

Release of a design research report targeting 170 people in the 3 locations of Tokyo, Yoshino, and Chengdu (China) to explore the reality of how to face "old age."

On February 6, 2017, Loftwork Co., Ltd. conducted research on the theme of "Aging and Senior Society" in the 3 cities of Tokyo, Yoshino, and Chengdu (China), and will release the results as "A Foundational Research Report on Aging."


Japan has long been known as an "advanced economy facing challenges." It is estimated that the population in the year 2100 will be lower than it is today by 43 million people, with aging becoming even more serious than it is today. Now, Japan taking the initiative as a "problem solving" advanced economy to present solutions will contribute to the resolution of this issue on a global scale, and will also lead to the creation of new industries.
 (*)UN Statistics, 2015


For this reason, design research techniques were utilized to conduct interviews of 170 elderly people. "Senior Society" was deduced from how the daily lives of elderly people were actually expressed. Members of globally active design consulting firms, corporate engineers, and researchers became 1 team, and operated based on the commissioned work of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, "2008 Industrial Technology Investigation Project (Survey on the construction of business models with social issues and seed technologies as their starting points)."



Under a Creative Commons licence (CC license), the report will be released bilingually, in Japanese and English. In addition, the photos accumulated during the research process (161 photos), as well as a "practical guide" that is a collection of the knowledge related to design research gained through the project, will be released at the same time. We hope that this report will become the starting point for the creation of a new discussion that involves the world, and contribute to the solution of various problems caused by aging.


The report has the following 3 features.


- It consists of 4 elements that deepen the knowledge of "aging."
Chiefly, these 4 elements are: "concepts" gained from the research, "findings," "archetypes" for the conception of new goods and services, and "opportunity areas."


- Redefining life stages to perceive elderly people more accurately.
In the conventional definition of life stages, people over the age of 65 are given vague classifications such as "late middle age" or "old age." In anticipation of the future prolongation of life expectancy, we redefined ages over 50 into 4 life stages in order to grasp in more detail the environment that surrounds the elderly.


- 8 Frameworks to visualize vague common wisdom.
Research discoveries appear together with a total of 8 conceptual diagrams. With models visualizing the transition process to retirement broken down by attribute, models of relationship reciprocity expressing changes in the position of giving and receiving between parents and children over three generations, and such, we tried visualization concerning the meaning of getting on in years, also reconsidering those things from the interviews liable to be treated as "unspoken agreements."

Diagrams were made from the point of view of "reciprocity" in the relationship between parents and children. We clarified "give and take" dependency.

Diagrams were made from the point of view of "reciprocity" in the relationship between parents and children. We clarified "give and take" dependency.

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The following documents and pictures are released to the public under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0*). With this license, under not-for-profit purposes, with appropriate display of credits, a link to the license pasted, appropriate display of any changes in cases where they are made, and assignment of the same license in case of redistribution, use and redistribution is possible. For commercial purposes, please make an inquiry to Loftwork public relations (pr@loftwork.com).

Report* (2/13/2017 update - part of the text was amended)
- "Transformation - A Foundational Study on Aging In Japan and China" >>PDF(10.8MB)
* This document is a different work from the report of the commissioned work of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, "2008 Industrial Technology Investigation Project (Survey on the construction of business models with social issues and seed technologies as their starting points)."

Design Research Practical Guide (2/13/2017 update - part of the text was amended)
"Design Research 101 - A Practical Guide Based on the Senior Society Design Research Project">>PDF (Japanese, 7.7MB)

Photo library
▶Transformation >>flickr photo album

Design research leading to the understanding and solution of essential issues.

One feature of the method used in this "design research" survey is that the conductors of the investigation are people who themselves actually design and plan projects and products. In traditional market research, marketers and researchers are the conductors of the surveys, but with people who are actually engaged in design participating from the research stage, it will lead to an understanding of even the nuances of people's daily lives.


Also, design research focuses on the "why," including the context behind the behavior and thoughts of people living their lives, which is difficult to bring to light with quantitative surveys and formal qualitative surveys. It can be said that it is a survey method that reveals viewpoints and mental attitudes that the subject him/herself was not aware of, and thus leads to more essential findings into the issue.


This research welcomes as its research manager Jan Chipchase of design consulting firm Studio D, and a team consisting of members from diverse backgrounds such as corporations and universities. It was conducted targeting 170 people in the three areas of Tokyo, Yoshino, and Chengdu (China).


This research is a foundational survey and does not aim to directly lead to problem solution. We hope that discussions born from the basic information compiled this time will lead to new steps.


* In the future, based on opportunity areas revealed through this research, we are planning to develop new products and services that meet the needs of the elderly together with businesses. For businesses and media interested in aging, please inquire below.

Contact address
pr@loftwork.com / 03-5459-5123 | Loftwork Inc. PR (Attn: Hareguchi)

Project synopsis

Duration: September - December, 2016
Locations: Tokyo, Yoshino, Chengdu (China)
Theme: Aging and its corresponding societal and personal behavior patterns and ways of thinking
Content and target: Interviews with experts, in depth interviews from 90 to 180 minutes, group interviews, ad hoc interviews, etc. of 170 participants.
Clients: Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry
Organization:
Studio D|Jan Chipchase, Venetia Tay
Loftwork | Chiaki Hayashi, Mami Jinno, Minori Kuwabara, shinya Kunihiro, Aki Kawana
University partners | (Keio University SDM) Naohiko Kohtake, Akira Odaka, Kaori Aizaki, Teruka Sumiya, (Keio University SFC) Koji Sasaki
Corporate partners | (NEC Corporation) Tsunehisa Kawamata, Eiji Hirao, Yumi Yano, (Panasonic Corporation) Takayuki Fukui

>> Details on project process, member comments, and such can be found here

About Loftwork Inc.

Company Profile

  • Company Name:Loftwork Inc.
  • Location:Dogenzaka Pia 9F, 1-22-7 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0043
  • Establishment:February 17th, 2000
  • Capital:¥ 26,875,000
  • Representative:co-founder and CEO Mitsuhiro Suwa
  • Business Outline:Web site-building, Digital content development, Picture production
  • Contact:Phone:+81-3-5459-5123 FAX:+81-3-5489-6667

Contact Information

  • Loftwork Inc. Public Relations
  • Contact time 10:00~18:00  (except Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays)
  • Phone:+81-3-5459-5123
  • info@loftwork.com