This project stems from the evidence that there is insufficient inscription and use of individual knowledge and experience of ageing and retired art and design professors and researchers. It hypothesizes that the legitimization of practice-led wisdom in art and design research will greatly contribute to the scope and depth of the discipline, as well as inform its role as a multi-disciplinary interface.
Considering that art and design research have only recently been validated as scientific disciplines, one may argue that the available scientific heritage precedes the formalization of these disciplines – and consequently resides in the hands of an older generation of researchers that have led a first moment of transition of creative activity from practice to academia.
However, given its fundamentally empirical nature, this heritage has largely remained off the validated content at work in present art and design higher education and research: this generation of art and design professors and researchers is often faced with a lack of a framework that welcomes and potentiates their professorial experience and testimony beyond curricular and project-based demands.
The present proposal therefore aims at establishing the groundwork for a paradigm shift in the acknowledgment, communication and activation of relevant contributions to knowledge, culture and the social fabric that art and design academics may provide in their own name: forms of wisdom that have not necessarily reverted or translated to scientific knowledge in their careers, that may thus find further contexts of resonance and applicability.
We believe this action is historically constrained: the time to perform it is now, as the generation at stake is an ageing and retiring academic population, whose wealth of knowledge and experience will be lost if not legitimised and activated in the present.
We propose to do so by involving a wealth of ageing and retired academics in art and design, on a voluntary basis, whose experiences and outlooks will inform:
– An aggregation of individual knowledge and experience that can be of further use, applicability and replicability;
– The development of projects that test a diverse set of contributive scientific and socio-cultural scenarios;
– Best Practice communication templates for continued societal contribution of further generations;
– Communication systems towards a raised multi-disciplinary awareness of “retirement wisdom” beyond the proposed scope of art and design;
Keyword: Design for Ageing, Silver Economy, Academic Retirement, Geography of Ageing