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From own home to care home

With his project «Age Lab», Stefan Zahler (Product Design) develops solutions which make moving to a care home a positive experience for older people. This thesis focuses on a social problem: the age-related transition from a person’s own home to a care home which is often felt to be a burden by those concerned. Stefan Zahler argues that a humane design approach can make this transition easier. His thesis is very clear in terms of structure and argumentation, and contains scientific references to social psychology, sociology and nursing-care theory. It is geared towards solving problems and aims to strengthen the contribution of design within nursing-care science, where it can act as an interface with other disciplines. Stefan Zahler first of all identified the different levels at which design can intervene. As a result of the complexity of the levels and dimensions involved, he decided to launch an «Age Lab».

Extensive research has gone into this work which provides an in-depth examination of a socially relevant topic. It distinguishes itself through the analysis of a very specific section of people’s lives which brings biographical discontinuity to those concerned. As such, it makes an important contribution to the debate around «design with social impact».