Due to the improving health care and working conditions, people’s life expectancies are constantly increasing. By 2060 it is estimated that the global population above the age of 65 will more than double. So far, society does not know how to react effectively to such massive change. After their working lives, elderly people tend to live within the circle of their own generation, keeping to people like themselves and frequently losing touch with the younger members of society. A key factor in this disconnection lies in the discrepancies between different generations’ understanding of the world. Today we have young ‘Digital Natives’ raised amidst abundant digital content and sophisticated devices, while the older generations can be described as ‘Digital Immigrants’ often unfamiliar with the landscape of the digital realm. Nevertheless, the analogue language of the ‘Digital Immigrants’ possesses qualities and richness that should be identified and celebrated, and passed on to younger generations. Through the medium of photography this project erects a bridge between the two generations’ languages. The traditional process of cyanotype photography merges with modern smartphone images, adding tactile qualities to the digital information by printing it manually on three-dimensional ceramic objects. The machine to support this process allows the user to interact with it both digitally and manually. The blend of these languages facilitates interactions and communication between generations, allowing all participants to benefit from one another.
© Design Academy Eindhoven, Photo by Lisa Klappe