BREAK THE TABOO

ZIE MIJ (see me) is developed in response to the taboo that surrounds loneliness among the elderly, in commission of the Municipality of Eindhoven. Taboo breakthrough comes from the outside as well as from the inside. Both sides are united in ZIE MIJ.

Marica Balk studies International Lifestyle Studies at Fontys in Tilburg and started her graduation project on breaking taboos on loneliness this February.

ABOUT THE TABOO ON LONELINESS

Marica: “Elderly people, a growing target group that we can’t ignore. A group of people that is living longer, staying more active and having more to say, but still live with one thing that keeps being a struggle: loneliness!

Even though it could be very helpful to talk about it, loneliness is a taboo. Where does the taboo come from? What is it that is bothering the elderly? What is going on in our society and in this world of loneliness? This and a lot more is what I wanted to find out in my research. But above all, what can we do to break this taboo? Which is also the question of the Municipality of Eindhoven.”

ABOUT ZIE MIJ

“By analysing the client, the target group, the industry developments and the trends in society I found some interesting dots on which to build. Dots to mix and match in a co-creation session together with stakeholders.”

This resulted in ZIE MIJ, a concept to break the taboo both from the outside as well as from the inside. The stimulus from the outside is provided by role models who openly talk about their experiences with loneliness. To support elderly to let go of the taboo from within, ZIE MIJ offers a toolkit with various resources to help lessen fear and shame. All in all the concept is based on a participant’s own strength and initiative, but in provides an incentive to take the first step by giving loneliness a face.

ABOUT GRADUATING AT DESIGN FOR HUMANITY

“After participating in the Social Innovation Challenge I became enthusiastic for graduating at Design for Humanity. They gave me the chance to work on an assignment of the Municipality of Eindhoven and coached me during the whole process. I like it that different stakeholders work together and that everyone can use their expertise, learn from each other and extend his/her network. This creates chances for everyone to contribute to the solution of social issues.

I think design can help us to deal differently with social problems, to solve them from our own perspective, and to pay more attention to the needs and wishes of all stakeholders.”

Marica just finished her graduation project. Right now, she is further developing the prototypes of a platform to exchange experiences and a toolkit.

Want to know more? Contact Marica via marica@designforhumanity.nl