hi tim,this is a great read and gives hope to many people with a disability, some great ideas here,
hopefully this recession wont render them to the dust shelves regards paul----- Original Message ----- From: "Tim Culhane" <tim.culhane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <vicsireland@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 1:27 PM Subject: [vicsireland] Designers address challenge of getting from A to B From Today's Irish Times. Engineering and designer teams were challenged to come up with ideas to allow disabled people to get around Dublin city, writes JOHN REYNOLDS STRONG COFFEE, intense collaboration and a wide range of ideas and opinions fuelled Dublin's first 24-hour Universal Design Challenge last Friday and Saturday, and the capital's streets might soon become a little easier to navigate as a result. Five diverse teams of web and product designers, architects, engineers, design students and partners discovered that the city presents a surprising number of obstacles to those with disabilities who are simply trying to get from A to B. They were presented with a design brief last Friday morning and asked to examine various routes in the city centre, several of which took in the Millennium, Ha'penny and Grattan Bridges, then to design something that would make the route, environment, space or journey more accessible. Urged by renowned British designer Michael Wolff - who has worked on branding and logos for Audi, Apple Records, BP, British Airways and the Labour Party - not to plagiarise from other designs or imitate them, challenge organiser Julia Cassim also spoke about the growing market for products for people over the age of 50. "In western Europe, spending by the over-50s has increased three times faster than spending by the under-50s during the past 20 years. Thirty per cent of Japan's population will be over 65 by 2030. "Disabled people are another key group because, by understanding the extreme, you can innovate for the mainstream. If you can address the requirements of these two groups of people, universal design principles dictate that you can create something that can be used by everyone, regardless of their age, size or ability," she said. With these guidelines in mind, the overall winner of the challenge was What A Load of Bollards, a simple but effective mapping system designed with the needs of the visually impaired in mind. The system consists of a navigation unit that sits on top of the ordinary bollards that are found in many of the capital's streets with arrows that point in the direction of well-known landmarks such as St Stephen's Green, Connolly station and the Guinness Storehouse. It features a slider that revolves around the unit and increases the size of the text displaying directions to the landmarks, a backlit display for night-time use and a button that can be pressed to activate spoken directions as well. Led by architect and PAC Studio director Peter Crowley, the design team suggested that bollards be coated in rubber to reduce injury in the event of a visually impaired person colliding with them and suggested that they be painted in a fluorescent colour for the same reason. Bollards could also be painted in order to show a route that users could follow. Justin Knecht, programme manager at Sligo IT's Centre for Design Innovation, led the team which won the People's Choice Award. With the help of their visually disabled partner Genny Carraro and their experience of walking with her along Abbey Street between Capel Street and Liffey Street, they designed a navigation system based on the route with the least obstacles for someone with a disability. The system consists of a website, where registered users would record the routes they found easiest to travel, and it could also make full use of the navigation capabilities of many mobile phones. Silicon Valley native Chris Kurjan, a co-founder of consultancy Innovation Delivery, who has worked on innovation systems with BMW, Pepsi and Procter Gamble, led a team who designed Green Leaf, a logo-based signposting system for highlighting how accessible a location is for wheelchair users. The information would also be accessible via a website, public information points and through mobile phones. A fourth team led by architect Viktoria Kavanagh designed Ground Control, an illuminated plate attached to the footpath that houses a spring-activated button, which in turn activates traffic light buttons, wheelchair ramps or requests a bus to stop by sending a radio frequency signal. The team of design consultant and NCAD industrial design lecturer Frank Long faced what initially seemed like an impossible challenge in coming up with an idea, given that their design partner Nick Corish (85), a former school principal now working in outdoor education - and who enjoys windsurfing and rock-climbing in his spare time - lacked any obvious problems in getting around the city centre. After learning about his wife, Pheny, who suffers from osteoperosis, and on hearing a tale about how Nick and Pheny enjoyed a memorable motorbike trip from Dublin to Rome when they were younger, the designers had an idea. The result is Plus One, a pod-like trailer designed to be compatible with bikes of the popular Dublin City Bikes scheme. It can be used to carry a passenger, to carry shopping, or to carry a child in relative safety and has power-assisted wheels so it can be used with minimal effort by a cyclist. In a closing speech, Prof Mark Dyer, head of TrinityHaus at Trinity College - which co-hosted the event with the National Disability Authority's Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in association with the British Royal College of Art's Helen Hamlyn Centre - urged each of the five teams to apply to Enterprise Ireland for funding in order to take their ideas to proof of concept stage with a view to commercialising them. "These inspiring ideas, that have been developed in such a short period of time, can be turned into something tangible, showing at least one path that can help to take us forward out of this recession," he added. ------------------------- Tim Culhane, Critical Path Ireland, 42-47 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. Direct line: 353-1-2415107 phone: 353-1-2415000 Tim.culhane@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx http://www.criticalpath.net Critical Path a global leader in digital communications ------------------------ ==================== The vicsireland mailing list To unsubscribe at any time send a mail to: vicsireland-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxwith the word "unsubscribe", without the quotes in the subject of the message.
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