Aging in Art

Aging Pride,” an exhibit at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna Austria explores aging through works of art.

The New York Times review of the exhibit reported that “Low birthrates from Spain to Slovakia, combined with increasing life spans, will see Europe’s work force shrink nearly 12 percent by 2060: a phenomenon with not only worrisome economic consequences but political ones, too. ”

The article questions what sort of lives will this generation live. It makes me question what will the quality of my life with my family be in our zip code and is there a location that will better suit our lifestyles in the future. We have a many years before this become a burning question. In the meantime I would welcome a visit to this exhibit.

*Photo credit to Joahnnes Stoll, Copyright Belvedere, Vienna.


Alzheimer’s Blood Test Raises Ethical Questions | WBUR & NPR

“Knowing their risk of developing cognitive impairment is very relevant to making plans around retirement and where they live,”

via Alzheimer’s Blood Test Raises Ethical Questions | WBUR & NPR.

Knowing one’s risk of an impending impairment would help one prepare for and possibly prevent it. But there is one life stage we will all experience in one form or another (barring death) that doesn’t require a blood test – aging and the physical adjustments and supports we may need to make daily life comfortable and feasible.  The tenets of universal design (UD) in our daily living environment are not meant to protect from future ailments of aging but rather to make today more comfortable.

You undoubtedly have already experience the pleasure of UD.  Recall an experience with that wide hallway, stepless entry, OXO kitchen tool or decorative grab bar in a hotel shower. Perhaps they blended so much into your experience that you didn’t even notice it. In contrast we all remember that uncomfortably small bathroom, the item on a cupboard too high to reach, or that scary slippery floor which we carefully skated across with nothing to grab for balance.

We may not need a test to tell us we will age so let’s not wait to make our daily living environment a bit more comfortable for ourselves or that visitor to our home that would surely appreciate it.

“They say…we’re all dying…”

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The lyric  “they say..we are all dying” (2:05) from the performance of Typhoon at NPR Music Tiny SXSW Concert feels perfectly appropriate for my long overdue re-entry post, but it also seems rather inappropriate for a site dedicated to the positive aspects of the aging experience.

But perhaps there is inspiration in seeking balance between the fact of mortality with the art of daily life, especially when the amazing young creative force behind Typhoon himself faced a young death.

The radio program from which I learned of Typhoon describes this album as having sad, dire lyrics wrapped in massively joyful music. Well, this balance of extremes is a new lens from which to explore the aging experience.

More to come

Funky Hipsters

Shared by Gretchen Addi of IDEO, a design thinker on aging that I follow and admire.

Imagine “…today’s young technophilic changesurfers as old farts in 2062, wearing out-of-date fashion and telling rambling stories about being embarrassed by videos of themselves passing out at dubstep gigs.” We all get old and will appear out of date to younger generations. A video from the future.


The New Royal Carriage

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall ( formerly Parker Bowles) used a mobility scooter, because of a broken leg, as she presented Afghanistan campaign medals to soldiers of the 4th Battalion The Rifles at Bulford Camp on May 5, 2010 in Salisbury, England.

What is the impact of a celebrity highlighting aging, frailty, and in this case the temporary use of mobility assistance? Who can identity the make and model of the new royal carriage?

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,300 times in 2010. That’s about 15 full 747s.

The busiest day of the year was January 6th with 104 views. The most popular post that day was THE GREEN HOUSE® Design Charrette.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for Mcdonalds Happy Meal, Ideo method cards, ambient intelligence, Ron Arad product design, and bathroom concepts.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


THE GREEN HOUSE® Design Charrette January 2009
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McDonald’s Happy Meal of the Future November 2008
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Bathroom Innovation October 2008


Not Your Father’s Grab Bar. January 2009