Week 12 Reflection

This last week, we were presented with a probe packet completed by an older adult. I learned how there are many different small elements that prove as inconveniences to older adults, that seem like they would be very simple to fix! We listened to how Susan (our older individual) loved the design of her A-Frame home, but with one glass wall, it wastes a lot of energy. She still likes the windows because of the connection to nature. She also likes using an electric fireplace, and would like greater lighting options.  She likes to fall asleep to the sound of her TV, but then it is using energy as she sleeps unless her husband turns it off for her.

Our solution for her is a sound system control system, named Mike, that will save energy and promote a healthy lifestyle. Mike is new, forward thinking, and mimics Amazon Echo and iPhone Siri which have been widely accepted and appreciated. The main purpose of the system is to control the shade on the glass wall (using technology from SageGlass) lighting, control of her fireplace. The system also has a bedtime reminder and a shut-off timer for her TV.

We plan to incorporate biophilic design, eco-design, economically sustainable, and positive movement for aging-in-place as theories within our design. We hope that Mike will reduce energy usage and provide a creative solution to the many inconveniences throughout life, and provide an easier living space.

The LOLA shows in class this week were interesting! They discussed empathetic design, which is the act of designing for human needs.

The first LOLA show that I enjoyed was focused on Toms. Toms helps developing countries that have a lack of jobs, education, and resources. Toms identified a need, researched worldwide, and explored opportunities. Their products are made with vegan materials, natural hemp and organic cotton to promote sustainable methods. Toms has programs that benefit developing countries with almost every type of product Toms offers for you to purchase. With every purchase of shoes a pair goes to increase health of another, with every purchase of sunglasses, Toms pays for an eye exam, and prescription glasses and surgeries can be given. Toms also sells coffee (TOMs Roasting CO.) and for every purchase, 140L of water is donated. With every bag purchase, a safe-birth kit goes to underdeveloped countries and finally with every backpack, bullying prevention programs are supported. The designs are created with the end-user in need, and donations are included within every purchase!

The second LOLA show focused on empathic design within the company Loki. Loki creates bracelets that have beads with mud from the dead sea, and water from Mt. Everest. This idea is empathetic because it correlates to the human emotion of the highs and lows of life. Loki donates 10% of it’s profits to charities, and helps promote clean water in oceans. Loki also donates to the benefit underprivileged villages, and supports research and cures of different causes, like breast cancer.

The final LOLA presentation was on empathetic design as a method to achieving sustainability with the company Patagonia. The problem is that 85% of the apparel industry goes to waste. Patagonia is a company that makes clothes for sporting, and works to keep things in use longer. They encourage their buyers to be an owner, not a consumer and teach them that the simple act of repair is the way to work for sustainable issues. Patagonia also recycles to make products, uses recollection, and is working to be better in sustainable issues. They also have a program called the Worn Wagon, which travels the country to fix worn out Patagonia products.

This week, I learned how designing for the end user can reveal issues that we may not have known existed before, and can create products that will benefit society and the end user, while promoting sustainable practices, and simply making the world a better place!

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