Blog 6: Empathetic Design and TED

This week we moved from one module to another one, while still keeping the relation between them. As we moved from Biomimicry to empathic design I was faced with examples outside of the classroom of topics that we discussed. This first topic that I found to be interesting was the TED talk about the robots and biomechanics. Throughout the TED talk I kept think how simple this concept was, we made a concept that has never been grasped before (even by the likes of NASA). What was hard for me to understand was why it is so hard for us to take a step back and to look at the smaller concepts in life. We are learning so much from nature, but to do so we have to actually listen to what it is saying. This all goes back to what we have talked about for the last 8ish weeks and how we need to be more aware an in tune with nature. Instead of blindly thinking that can’t learn anything and that we are not going to eventually be hurt by our actions.

Moving from the TED talk we had a talk from Patricia Moore, where she talking about empathetic design. She spoke about how we are limiting people and making them disabled. Instead of designing for people we are choosing to design for ourselves and blindly ignore that we can help. Something that stood out to me was when she talk about how we look at elderly and how we choose to believe that they are incapable of doing the same tasks the younger population is. This week in one of my marketing classes I heard my classmates talking about the “crazy” things their grandparents have done. Instead of thinking that their grandparents were capable of doing the same tasks as them, they were worried about grandma and grandpa falling off a roof. At what point do we become more vulnerable to danger, All in all she made the general point that continue to be functioning throughout the aging process. Which she proved when she dressed and acted like an elderly women and faced much of the discrimination that the elderly population is faced with. Much of which is not intentional, but by design.

If we think about this in a design perspective we could be finding new ways to design for the elderly population in mind. Which is stepping back and looking at the smaller ideas at hand, which could lead to solutions like the ones in the TED talk. If we can take that step back we may find way to design that take sustainability into account. Moving to work hand in hand with empathetic design.

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