The Golden Age
One of the most important and scarcest resources is the time available to each of us. Through its perception -and visible signs - we come under pressure to "live every day like it’s the last"—or at least to work off our to-dos. The possible range in which doing all this has expanded almost unnoticed: those born today have good chances of living through, experiencing and surviving an entire century. Real Methuselahs, then. Unfortunately, we don't seem to have become wiser as a result—and “live in the moment” rather than plan ahead.
The last frontier to the West has long been crossed, but today we find its current manifestation in Silicon Valley, where longevity laboratories are searching for lifestyle, biotech, genetic engineering and technological solutions for the next insurmountable hurdle: cell aging and death.
The (big technological) systems, societies and beliefs we have been building on seem to be in urgent need of maintenance: For no one seems to have expected ageing. Does it make sense to retire retirement itself, or is this just an argument made by ailing welfare states? Of course it would be great to see the generation of our kids‘ kids‘ kids grow up, but can we expect them to shoulder the costs of our retirement (beside leaving behind a world of climate change as is)? What is retirement anyway, and what do we as ever-aging societies want, now that we could spend a third of our life post-work? Would a rational and darwinistic society abandon the elderly as „non-productive“? If things really turned out that way, would seniors call for protest—"Seniors for Future", so to speak?
With "The Golden Age" we want to draw attention to temporalities, their challenges and opportunities. What do we do with the surplus of capacities? How do we integrate older people into the arts and cultural production? How to we adequately adapt tools, cities, and mobility innovations for a growing generation of older people? And how do you design technology that meets the needs of seniors?
We are not afraid of old age, but rather draw a multifaceted picture of its aspects: lifelong learning, curiosity, access to and participation in economies, trends in education, arts and culture and technological support in the quotidian.
Because it is in our hands to design a future that has space for the young, the old and all those in between.