A journey to old age and back

4 minutes


Architect Julia Kick has breathed new life into an old wooden barn and is now living with her family in this renovated building. With the help of the AgeExplorer®, she discovers how ageing can affect our lives.

A building steeped in history

The barn used to be filled with horse stalls and the hay cart would bring feed and straw for the animals through the huge entrance door. After carrying out a sensitive renovation, the Kick family have made this historic building their home. Today, our Blum Requirements Researcher Sandra is visiting this self-employed architect and young mother to give her an entirely new look into the future. The AgeExplorer® age simulation suit will take her on a journey into the world of people with physical limitations. "It won't be so bad," she laughs.

"You have to take a common sense approach to building design, ensure sustainability, and also consider possible future use."
The listed building was sensitively restored and converted into a home.
The listed building was sensitively restored and converted into a home.

The transformation – from young to old

"How old am I now then?" Julia wants to know as she puts on the straps which simulate stiff elbows and knee joints. "It's not possible to say precisely," replies Requirements Researcher Sandra. The suit simulates limitations which typically arise as we age, however it is different for everyone depending on their level of fitness and physical condition. "So around 75 years old," says Sandra while filling the pockets of the orange overalls with around 5.5 kg of weights. Special ear muffs, glasses that simulate age-related farsightedness and a visor which restricts your field of vision complete the experience. Just the arthritis gloves to slip on and she's ready to go.


The various components of the AgeExplorer® simulate typical limitations which can arise as we age.

An expedition through her own kitchen

Julia wants to understand the challenges that physical difficulties can pose in your day-to-day home environment. She tries out a range of everyday tasks in her kitchen, such as making a salad. The arduous task of reaching for the salad bowl is particularly hard. "Could do with a step here," groans Julia. Even pouring a coffee is unexpectedly difficult. When stooping down to tidy toys away, Julia takes a deep breath: "This is already hard enough without the suit. It makes you understand how important ergonomics is as we age," she says pensively.


Stooping right down, stretching high up – these are movements which are particularly difficult when wearing the suit.

Julia's conclusion

"I never would've thought that this simulation could be so impressive," says Julia, visibly impressed and also a bit tired. "These new insights will help me to look again at some of the details in my plans, to question and examine them in a different way. We always focus heavily on our clients' needs. But being able to experience such limitations for myself is a really valuable experience for me."


Our hints and tips at a glance

  • Plan for the future and avoid any obstacles

  • Provide ergonomic furniture

  • Provide a good view of contents and ensure accessibility

  • Plan sufficient storage areas and seating areas

  • Opt for good-quality interior furnishings

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