The Lady with the Roses and Other Invisible Users: Revisiting Unused Data on Nursing Home Residents in Living Labs

  • Anne Marie KanstrupEmail author
  • Ann Bygholm


Finding ways to bridge the gap between technological knowledge and local knowledge is a fundamental socio-technical challenge. This chapter re-examines data with residents in nursing homes with the purpose of investigating opportunities for bringing the older adults’ local knowledge into the innovation of technology for ageing populations. The older adults in the study were all physically and/or mentally frail and all possessed knowledge about being an older adult and a resident in a nursing home. The analysis showed that the older adults’ participation in technology innovation was mainly indirect; in cases of direct participation the communication about technology was difficult and characterised by pleasantries. However, the older adults provided rich insights about their everyday routines and memories via observations, thus, giving designers access to local knowledge about being an older adult living in a nursing home. Finding ways to embrace and include this local knowledge requires a conceptual understanding of participation. The chapter contributes a conceptualisation of ‘invisible users’, i.e. people who are frail and considered difficult to engage in technology innovation. The findings contribute a perspective on ‘dimensions of participation’ as pivotal for designers who aim to bring this target group’s knowledge into technology innovation for ageing populations.


Design for ageing Living laboratory Nursing home Invisible users Participatory design 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PlanningAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark
  2. 2.Department of CommunicationAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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