Loneliness at Home : Staying Connected to Long-distance Family

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för design (DE)

Abstract: It is becoming a problem that the number of people who have loneliness by a physical distance between family members has lately kept increasing. Home is not only about space, but also about where an individual makes memories, feels secured with its familiarity and feels comfortable with his or her family member(s). Individuals, who live alone and feel lonely, have not been getting these senses. The available ways of connection between remote family members are not enough.  The aim of the research is to understand the current condition of the connection between remote family members to map pain points. The purpose is to develop a product that can decrease a sense of loneliness and increase positive emotions through an experience which makes a lonely individual feel a little bit more connected to a long-distance family in everyday life.  Based on the in-depth interviews, eight insights and two kinds of stakeholders, whom the connection should be made between, was revealed. Over forty ideas were created to solve the problem of loneliness based on the defined insights and stakeholders, and the ideas were narrowed down on the criteria of to what extent the idea can satisfy the revealed insights and to what extent the connection created by each idea can last easily between the two stakeholders.  The resulting product called One Home Lamp can provide an emotionally warmer experience to a target user than other similar products do with four main features: 1) a connection which lasts in everyday life in a way that everyone can keep in touch with each other more easily, 2) a better sense of identity which belongs to each family by customization with colour and stickers, 3) a better sense of belongingness towards a family by seeing an imaginal house where you and your family live together, 4) a better sense of touch which is closer to human warmth with the material and soft texture used.  The result is beneficial for modern societies in terms of the fact that it has a great possibility to reduce loneliness, increase positive emotions and improve well-being among lonely individuals which is one of the sustainable development goals to be achieved by 2030 advocated by the United Nations General Assembly. 

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