Announcing the winners of the RogLab Open call

active aging

This year’s RogLab Open: Active Aging initiative, which aims to draw the attention of both designers and the public to the needs of the elderly, drew 30 entries from Brazil, India, Iran, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Ivory Coast, Slovenia and the UK. The open call was held by RogLab, a fab lab in Ljubljana, and the Slovenian Centre for Creativity under the auspices of the Museum of Architecture and Design, while 35 labs from 27 countries provided promotional support.
The selection committee members, as below, chose five winning ideas that will receive support for further development: Meta Štular (RogLab project manager, independent cultural manager in the field of creative industries, winner of Eurocities Innovation Award), Maja Vardjan (curator at the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) and co-curator of 24th and 25th Biennial of Design BIO), Tomo Per (Fab Manager at RogLab), Mojca Mihailovič-Škrinjar (economist, adviser for design thinking and strategic development of business ideas, winner of the Design Management Value Award 2016 with the Competence Centre for Design Management) and Maja Kržišnik (art historian, director of the Informational documentation centre for design at the Slovenian Chamber for Commerce and Industry (1988–2006), former lecturer at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering and Faculty of Design).


Authors: Ina Nathalie Bölsing, Kaja Čufer, Tajda Dražić and Katarina Ekart
Country: Slovenia
Category: student
The project focuses on challenges facing the elderly in fashion (trouble fastening buttons and closing zippers, unsuitable cuts of clothes, unattractive designs of functional clothing). The authors propose combining attractive designs, quality materials and innovative and adapted patterns. The committee chose the project on the basis of its in-depth research-driven approach, the quality of its design and originality evident in the drawings, as well as the extensive market applicability of the project’s inclusive design principles aimed at a range of generations.
Intergenerational playground toy
Author: André da Silva Canzolin
Country: Brazil
Category: professional
The project drew its inspiration from the wall ball game. The author added openings of various shapes to the board which determine the game’s level of difficulty; the objective is to move the ball, attached to a rope, towards the goal by pulling on the rope. The game can be played by one or two individuals and by people of all ages, both indoors and out. The committee found the idea attractive because of its simplicity, which enables a number of variations, from a purely analogue game that can be produced with a laser cutter, or an upgraded board with electronic components bringing complexity to the game. The jury recommends rapid prototyping and testing at 1:1 scale during development of the project.
Time for chess
Author: Janez Vrhunc
Country: Slovenia
Category: professional/retiree
How to upgrade an outdoor space to promote inclusive intergenerational socialising and make it attractive and intuitive to use, without excluding users based on their financial capabilities? Retirees have lots of free time to spend on leisure activities, but the latter are often organised and incur charges. The author focuses on Ljubljana’s public spaces and aims to tackle the challenge by popularising outdoor chess with chess points, enabling spontaneous intergenerational community building. While outdoor chess is not a new concept, the jury recognised the simplicity and social qualities of the idea for the City of Ljubljana, as well as the fact that the execution involves only moderate financial resources and little infrastructural demands. The author suggests developing a rental system for chess pieces, while the committee suggests upgrading the system to book tables and find players etc. Given the author’s credentials (retired architect) the jury also expects suitable spatial solutions and a well-executed design of the physical prototype.
Adaptable steps
Author: Dušan Uršič
Country: Slovenia
Category: professional/retiree
A common challenge facing the elderly is the need to climb stairs. The author’s solution is to place an additional step on an existing staircase, raising it by the height of half-step. The interchangeable heights of the lowered steps provide elderly or injured people easier ascent or descent. The committee chose the project for its relative simplicity of execution of these intermediary elements of various dimensions and the ease with which existing infrastructure is upgraded by adding such elements, as well as the fact that a variety of other age groups might find such solutions useful, i.e. younger individuals with limited mobility. The project could be further developed with a system for renting adaptable steps. We suggest developing solutions that place the steps in interiors, as well as a systemic solution for adjusting the step’s height to suit an array of staircases. The mechanism by which it would be attached is also to be solved.
Grow for it!
Author: John Peto
Country: United Kingdom
Category: Professionals
There is a strong culture of gardening and growing amongst elderly people. This culture is often lost as they move into managed housing in later years, with no access to a garden or grow facilities. Growing allows for the production of healthy food, and serves as a forum for social interaction between the housing residents as they garden and grow together. It’s a good way for people to find a common cause and to interact in the framework of a positive and productive activity. The author hopes to develop a hydroponics kit for the elderly in managed accommodation and design it to suit the depleted motoric command and vision of the users. They will be able to upgrade the hydroponic kit and create components to fit it using 3D maker technologies. The committee chose the project primarily for its social component and its ability to be replicated in fab labs around the world.