Design for children and older people - Educating the Next Generation of Designers

Guest Editors

Eva Eriksson, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Olof Torgersson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Caterina Calefato, Interuniversity Consortium for Optimization and Operations Research, Italy
Chiara Ferrarini, RE:Lab S.r.l., Italy


Important dates


• Deadline: 30 May, 2014 -> 6 June, 2014 (extended)
• Notification to the authors: 30 June, 2014 -> 30 July, 2014 (extended)

• Deadline for submission of the final camera ready version of accepted papers: 20 July, 2014 -> 15 August, 2014 (extended)
• Publication of the special issue: end of August 2014


In today’s society, while children and older people are gaining influence they can still be considered in a broad sense as groups of vulnerable people. In many cases, they have less control of their lives and are more dependent on others to help out with various kinds of things than the average population. In addition to this, they may also have various kinds of cognitive and physical restrictions. For these reasons the term “vulnerable generations” will be used to denote the group of children and elderly as a whole.
In line with their increased influence, there is a growing awareness of the needs of vulnerable generations.  Innovative use of design specifically targeted towards these groups’ special needs can contribute greatly to the improvement of their wellbeing, preventing them from facing difficult or stressful situations. However, less work has been spent on developing teaching modules for design methods and practices aiming at covering the needs of elderly and children. Accordingly, more work is needed on design for these groups.
To improve the design practice in the area of design for elderly and children it is necessary to not only study and improve methodology, but also how to transfer the gained knowledge to new generations of designers to ensure its use in design. A combination of current best practices and design explorations and teaching experiments should be used to suggest new approaches to design for children and older people and to modernize the design curriculum with a specific focus on both older people and children.

Topics of Interests



• Design methods and techniques for older people and children
• How to investigate children abilities and interaction context
• How to investigate older people abilities and interaction context
• Methods for involving vulnerable users into the design process
• Innovation and creativity in products and services for children
• Innovation and creativity in products and services for children
• User-centred design - toys and games


• Training needs for professional designers
• Training needs for design students
• Teaching experiments of innovative design curricula
• From educational model to design techniques


• Multidisciplinary approaches to technologies for children or for older people
• Technologies and learning skills: how learning skills change over time - older people
• Technologies and learning skills: how learning skills arise - children


Vulnerable generations; children; elderly; older people; design; education, teaching experiments; teaching methods, user centred design.

Submission procedure

The manuscripts should be submitted either in .doc or in .rtf format.
All papers will be blindly peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers. Perspective participants are invited to submit a 8-14 pages paper (including authors' information, abstract, all tables, figures, references, etc.).
The paper should be written according to the IxD&A authors' guidelines  .

Link to the paper submission page:

when submitting the paper please choose as first Domain Subject: 'IxD&A special issue: Design for children and older people')

More information on the submission procedure and on the characteristics of the paper format can be found on the website of IxD&A Journal the where information on the copyright policy and responsibility of authors, publication ethics and malpractice are published.

For scientific advices and for any query please contact the guest-editors:
• eva.eriksson[at]
• olof.torgersson[at]
• caterina.calefato[at]
• chiara.ferrarini[at]

marking the subject as: 'IxD&A special issue: Design for children and older people'.