Stanford Longevity Design Challenge 2014-15

The 2nd Design Challenge from the Stanford Center on Longevity has been announced to start on September 23, 2014 with the call for sponsors. The theme for this year is Enabling Personal Mobility Across the Life Span. Obviously this initiative has broader reach than just older adults. Improving mobility at all touch points of life contributes to a more independent longevity.

In last year’s challenge theme Maximizing Independence for Those with Cognitive Impairment, the emphasis was on encouraging innovations in technology, but this year at least at first blush it looks like Stanford is also looking for some non-tech ideas; so likely it’s a combination of the tech and non-tech that could be the winning idea.

What is great to see with this challenge is that it includes a younger student demographic, drawing them into the conversation about aging and longevity. Generational collaboration, indeed what we need. The winner in April 2014 was Sha Yao from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco with her project Eat Well; a design creation for a table setting customized to help people with Alzheimer’s eat unassisted.

Both themes, last year and this, are similar as reflected in one of the design consideration points in UI/UX design – memory meets mobility; and further still all the sensory and “psychosocial” factors are in the mix of creativity.

However, you don’t have to go to Stanford to get inspiring technology innovations that address the needs of an aging population. Toronto has its own action in TAGLab.

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