Psychological impact of various materials for outdoor furniture in urban public spaces and their acceptance by senior citizens.
Keywords:Age-Friendly, Advanced Materials, Public Spaces, Senior-Friendly Furniture, Senior Psychology.
Ageing statistics, worldwide, indicate a dramatic rise in the world’s senior population. India, being one of the world’s highly populous countries, has undergone a major transformation in demographics in the past few decades. Over migration of people from rural areas to the cities has resulted in a dramatic rise in the senior population in India, especially in the urban areas where the population of people over 60 years of age has become threefold. Public spaces influence our lives significantly by enhancing our overall health and wellness. Such spaces not only contribute to the physical fitness but also enhance social as well as psychological well-being of the users. Increasing world’s senior population in urban areas has channelized our attention towards design and development of public spaces with special consideration towards preferences of senior citizens for the material of furniture that is age-friendly, comfortable and at the same time, aesthetically sound. The design, material and finish of furniture in a public space influence senior citizens greatly and affects their usability by them. The paper identifies the preferences of senior citizens in terms of material and finishes for the furniture which has psychological impact on them. The paper identifies materials that are commonly used for furniture in public spaces and further investigates the impact of identified material and the level of acceptance by the senior citizens for such materials, through a survey-basedstudy. Personal interactions will narrow down the identified materials along with identification of the most preferred material by the senior citizens for development of furniture in a public space for enhanced usability.
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