Skip to menu

Sustainability — Creating, Developing and Maintaining a Safe, Secure Society

Location : Home Session Summary S-01: Sustainability — Creating, Developing and Maintaining a Safe, Secure Society
Main contents start here

The Age of Longevity and Sustainability
- Light and Shadows, Concept and Marketing Strategies

Masaaki Shiraishi

President, Japan Productive Ageing Research Center: Japan

Profile >>

The world population clock has passed the 70.66 billion mark and keeps ticking away at a pace of 200,000 people a day. The population of age 80 and over is also rising 4 percent annually, so aging today can only be discussed from a global viewpoint. 

First, we will introduce trends in universal design in light of various initiatives undertaken by the United Nations and various organizations in western countries. We will then consider the "light and shadows" where aging has a particular impact on people and corporations and on communities and society. Although it is only natural that the contribution of design will be a key factor in measures for unlocking the rich potential and "shadows" of humanity, it is important to note that as early as 270 years ago the sustainability of individuals was already seen as a potential threat to the sustainability of society.

For corporate entities, a long-lived society can be viewed as a new, unknown continent. Although there are many areas where development will proceed as an extension of the present, the challenge that lies ahead in "personal mobility" is not widely understood.  Because human beings die "feet first," we may very well discover an enormous, unexplored market.

An important aspect of aging is its "diversity."  This makes the discovery and development of needs of an aging society complex. Because of this diversity, it is our belief that we must broaden the concept of universal design by considering those latent human traits deep in the human psyche, that is, a fourth-dimensional aspect of universal design. We would also like to present examples of universal design where we are steadily building on our achievements using new concepts and a global strategy as our key strengths.

Sustainable Universal Design

Fumikazu Masuda

Design consultant / Professor, Tokyo Zokei University: Japan

Profile >>

The objective of universal design is to build a society where diverse people including the aged and people with disabilities can coexist. It is wrong, however, to think that unlimited financial and other resources can be used to achieve this objective.

At present, we are seven billion people sharing one earth and we must divide the limited resources of this earth in as fair a method as possible. Furthermore, when we talk of a society where diverse people can coexist, this does not refer to any single country, specific economic sphere, or people with a certain level of economic power. Moreover, we already know that the welfare of mankind is not something to be attained in exchange for the destruction of the natural environment. In other words, when we aspire to realizing a society where as many people as possible can live comfortable, fulfilling lives by producing goods and services within the earth's finite environment, we acknowledge that it only stands to reason that an order of priority must exist in the goods and services we choose to produce. In this regard, universal design may serve as one criterion of judgement.

This presentation will consider sustainable universal design.

End of the contents
Main menu starts here

UD2012 Secretariat
e-mail :
Fax : +81-(0)45-901-8417
End of the Main menu