Fighting loneliness by bringing
young and elderly people together
over a 
home-cooked meal.

Post-retirement demotivation and isolation among elderly is a common problem in Denmark. We were tasked with tackling this problem by designing moments of learning and collaboration between different generations.

Based on our research about how young and elderly form their circles of care and avoid loneliness, we asked the question:

How might we connect people from different generations whose close family members are absent, so that they can play these roles in each others’ lives and simulate the feeling of home?

From this came Dinner Makes Home which is a service that connects young professionals who are too busy to cook for themselves and crave a home-made meal, with the elderly in their neighbourhood who live alone and are looking to eat with someone.

The project was done in collaboration with Ældresagen.

How we did it

The concept was a four-week project focused on research, experience prototyping and video-production.

We went into the field exploring the theme of loneliness, while trying to understand how elderly and younger generations form their circles of care. This happened through in-depth interviews and co-creation of concepts with potential users and experts.

We found that people look for friends who can transform into substitute family members, in order to generate a feeling of home away from home. Also, due to varying lifestyles and responsibilities, it takes a lot more effort for people in different stages of life to take the first step in establishing new friendships. With this in mind we ideated on the above design question and landed on the final concept.

We prototyped it by creating the actual experience of cooking and eating together, as well as building a low-fidelity version of the communication interface. The full project was documented as a video-prototype explaining the key touchpoints.

Advised by Eilidh Dickson (CIID), Francesca Desmarais (CIID), Alix Gillet-Kirt (FJORD) and John Lynch (CIID).

TypeService Design, Design Research KeywordsExperience prototyping, seniors, loneliness, video prototyping, balthazar groupTeamChristopher Bogár, Can Yanadarg, Bora Kim and Sebastian Hunkeler