The State of the Science in Universal Design: Emerging Research and Developments

Emerging Markets for Great Design

Author(s): Margaret Wylde and Susan Hunter

Pp: 20-30 (11)

DOI: 10.2174/978160805063511001010020

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Emerging markets for great design are growing with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation. As the population ages, a higher proportion of people in the U.S., other industrial nations, and even in developing nations will become consumers for innovative products that address their daily living needs without emphasizing disability or loss of ability to chronic illnesses, accident, or changes in life stage. To develop products and environments that address this demographic shift, it is necessary to project the size of the potential market and identify the key components of successful products and environments. Moreover, just because a product or environment is easier to use, helps someone, and has a strong recognizable brand, it will not necessarily be purchased unless it meets other important needs of consumers - both rational (e.g. value, reliability, customer support) and emotional (e.g. aesthetics and cultural appropriateness). Beautifully designed products and environments make people feel good, putting them in an open frame of mind to be creative and find solutions to the problems they face, an especial important part of aging well. This article looks at the dynamics of growing markets and uses a national survey about home buying preferences as a case study to understand the levels of appreciation for good design appeals.

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