Remind me, are we still paying taxes for these people?
Critic Alice Rawsthorn agrees that designers’ involvement in helping negotiate death needs to be treated sensitively: “Death is one of those areas where the interests of government, religion, the law, capitalism and free will all converge, making it an unusually complex field in which to intervene.”
Despite its complexity, the process of dying is an issue that — with the clock ticking for our ageing population — urgently needs design intervention. Of course, design won’t provide all of the answers. As Hunt says: “Designers tend to think in terms of massive, impactful change, and this may be a realm where incrementalism is more important than transformation. It is especially important for designers to listen first, and not just approach it like the hero looking to make change for change’s sake.”
Designers should tread carefully, with humility, but not without purpose:
“Designing for the end of life is not something venal or style-driven. It is a deeply human need to wrestle with a profound moment in our social relationships.”
It’s difficult to make out really, but I think they mean that we should all wear hipster glasses as we die.