An extraordinary exhibition on ageing – Bangkok, Thailand

Titled “New Aged Citizens: New Definitions, Opportunities and Challenges” this exhibition shows a solid understanding of the issues and challenges surrounding an ageing society.

I was very impressed on my visit to this exhibition at the TCDC (Thailand Creative and Design Center) in Bangkok recently. An enormous amount of creative energy has been employed to understand and interpret the “Opportunities and Challenges”.

Two things really stood out about this show; It’s appeal to all age groups and the way it tackled both the emotional and physiological challenges of an ageing society.


The exhibition seemed designed with the intent of giving younger people IMG_3952some empathy with ageing issues through a series of clever, interactive exhibits.

I strongly believe that the more younger people, designers in particular, can understand the challenges of ageing, the more we will see Age-Friendly design.

As an example of the clever interactivity, visitors are asked to respond to various ageing issues using a series of age-coded stickers (see picture).

The issues and observed responses follow;

  1. Do you feel [younger/older/same as] your real age – of course, most people feel younger.
  2. What age do you think you will live to? – Most people answered in the 75 to 90 year range.
  3. What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘old’? – Overwhelmingly, people responded ‘physical condition’. (see inset picture)
  4. What do you think is the biggest issue facing the Thai elderly? – Answers in order of popularity at the time of viewing appeared to be; 1) Health 2) Savings 3) Loneliness 4) Transportation 5) Technology. This mix of psycho-social and physiological issues is impressive.
  5. Who is responsible for your care when you grow old? Interestingly, for this bastion of family centric societal thinking, the overwhelming number of respondents answered ‘self’ though the age-linked dots indicate this is mainly a the view of younger age groups.
  6. Do you think Thailand is ready to handle the aged society? Overwhelmingly ‘no’!

The exhibition effectively explores the emotional and physiological impact of ageing. Displays included wearable devices, walking aids,  simulated sight impairment glasses and age-suits as well as products designed with an age-friendly philosophy 310a26db732a092c892d1d24cd83a558 108939eefc0022f822d15718f8eb7d70 IMG_3925 IMG_3929

The exhibition collateral neatly summed-up the vision;

Ageing is inevitable. Children in the future will live longer than adults today. The best thing we can do now is to create the future that we are ready to age by ourselves.


‘Good job’ Thailand Creative and Design Center!