We're Not Really Distant
Capstone Project, 2020
About the Project
We’re Not Really Distant aims to empower meaningful connections between the elderly and the young people using stories of unique experiences. With a core focus on commonality and reciprocal connection, my goal is to facilitate a two-way connection between the elderly and the young adults through an interactive experience.
In our society today, the elderly are seen as less valuable since their individualism, self-reliance, and independence would already have been altered. This leads to a disconnect between the elderly and the larger community- the reason why social isolation is one of the most common issues faced by the older generation.
Empathising with my target audience through one-on-one conversations helped me find the root problem. The experiences they shared were mostly negative when the question was focused on differences in opinions and beliefs- brought by the generation gap. But when the conversation shifted to the valuable lessons they have learned from the elderly, the mood instantly changed positively. They began appreciating and reflecting on those moments. This was when I realised that commonality plays a big part in creating better interactions between the two generations.
I then created a website platform where the elderly’s stories on courage and grit can be shared. This topic of courage brings about stories that explore our shared humanity of going through and overcoming struggles, no matter how different the experiences may be.
I also recognised the need for this interaction to be two-way for it to be authentic. So the users are encouraged to send back a video reply to the elderly right then and there on the website.
To bring this platform to young adults, I decided to introduce this at a time they are usually having conversations- coffee breaks, so as not to disrupt the social interaction but fit seamlessly into everyday conversations. The website platform can be opened through a distinct QR code on the takeaway coffee cups.