Skilled in Design Thinking : Exploring Human Centered Design, Participatory Design (co-creation), Service Design and Design Thinking Methodologies. Sessional Lecturer in Design Thinking: Using Human Centred Design to empathise, define, ideate, prototype and test solutions to complex problems in order to create outcomes that benefit the end user. Mentor: RMIT University: Designing the Future (MOOC).
Qualifications: Masters (Design Futures), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Post Graduate Certificate (eLearning) and Bachelor (Creative Arts & Design). Undertaking PhD (Design Thinking).
Exciting work here. Not sure if you have come across the Index Awards where there are companies and individuals working along similar lines to yourselves. Here are a few links that may be useful.
http://designtoimprovelife.dk/touch-sight/ Touch Sight provides the visually-impaired with an opportunity to “see” images on an advanced Braille interface that displays images as embossed surfaces that the user can touch. It also records sound for three seconds after pressing the shutter button allowing the user to use the sound as a reference when reviewing and managing the photos.
http://designtoimprovelife.dk/be-my-eyes-app-crowdsources-vision-for-the-blind/ Sometimes all you need to do to find assistance is let someone know you need it. That’s exactly the principle behind Be My Eyes, the app that connects sighted people who can lend their eyes to the blind in times of need. Imagine the frustration of being blind and needing to view something as basic as allergen information on a food label, or select the correct can from the pantry. Little things like this that the sighted don’t give a second thought to can add a lot of hassle to the day of a blind person. Now, with just a tap, the blind can ask sighted volunteers via the Be My Eyes app to eliminate the complication.
The sighted person simply takes a look using live video chat, describes what it is they see to the non-seeing person, and then both move on with their day effortlessly. It works very similarly to taxi apps; people in need are matched with people available to help at the time of the request. Essentially, Be My Eyes is crowdsourcing vision for the blind.
http://designtoimprovelife.dk/the-voice/ The vOICe design provides the blind user with live visual input from a head-mounted camera by capturing and converting this live video on-the-fly into closely corresponding “visual sounds” that convey the visual content. The blind user learns to mentally interpret the complex sounds as visual views.
With a total population of approximately 180 million and having 30 million individuals having one form of disability or another, the need for change and investment is great. I recently read that Rainbow Chickens in South Africa is on a knife edge and may close. On the bright side this may be an opportunity to approach them and suggest a partnership that will enable a win-win situation both for yourself and the organisation. Just a thought.
RAINBOW's chickens (http://www.rclfoods.com/rainbowchicken) are delicious roast dinners, the perfect Isishebo and succulent braais. We produce 4-million birds per week, creating 4-million memorable meal occasions per week. With these inspired insights, RAINBOW is evolving into a consumer-driven brand that recognises that consumers are much more than just people at the end of the supply chain.
What about approaching this company and using your system / solution as a test platform for their wheel concept? http://designtoimprovelife.dk/wheel-vitamins-westaway/ When the project began in 2007, lead designer Duncan Fitzsimons had no idea what he was embarking on. Originally, Fitzsimons began designing a folding wheel with the intention of it being used in the high-end bike industry. Now, in 2013, the many benefits of this invention are immeasurable.
The years of hard work certainly paid off. After many trials and errors, the Vitamins studio managed to develop a fully functioning folding wheel – so compact that it can fit into a duffel bag. When the wheel was first launched, the firm began to generate attention from wheelchair users eager to try out the invention. Vitamins Director Adrian Westaway recounts, “They were asking if the wheel could be modified to be used on wheelchairs. The emails kept coming in, and we decided to research how we could start creating a design solution.”
Vitamins continued to develop their project further, with the help of the wheelchair users who had reached out to them, which enabled them to perfect the design to fit a new use. “It turns out that, while a folding wheel is useful for cyclists, it can actually be life changing for wheelchair users.” Westaway adds. “There are so many problems associated with storing and transporting wheelchairs, and the biggest problem is wheel size.”
One of the many benefits of this folding wheel is that wheelchair users can travel with ease, as they are not limited by storage space as the wheels fit with ease in the overhead bins (and even under your seat). Not only that, but as the design is foldable it eliminates the risk of damaging the wheels when traveling and reduces the painful strain on one’s shoulders when transferring to cars/planes/what have you. The wheels are also easy to maintain, as the changing of tires does not require complex tools.