Stanford Longevity Design Winners, 2015-16

“Using Happiness to Optimize Longevity”.

Mind over matter, or better still – it is both! Mind created the matter.

The 3rd annual Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge finalists were announced last week and one of my picks hit the top in the “Mind” category – Memoir Monopoly. If you click through that link, you will get the full story. I simply love the name, which makes it easily marketable. Nothing like “memorable” marketing.








For some reason I didn’t pick up on the fact that winners would be selected in two categories this year – Mind & Mobility. The winner in “Mobility” is City Cart. This is a very practical product, which is a hybrid “walker/shopping cart”. While Memoir Monopoly taps into happiness in a social, interactive way, City Cart is an “age-friendly” product that has personal use purpose. When I think of the various models of shopping carts, or “bundle buggies” that you still see people of all ages using today, with or without mobility issues – this is bound to be a hit.

So what happened to my first pick chosen a few weeks ago? Potalk won 3rd prize in the Mind category. In any event, all the design ideas this year were great examples of where the future is, where technology meets age-friendly. What was of added interest in this year’s Stanford Design Challenge was that each entry talked about lessons learned in the design process.

Here’s an example as expressed by the designers of City Cart:

“From the start, we had many ideas that we believed would assist our users, but found out that we needed to slow down our creative minds and listen to the actual people we are designing for. Just talking with potential users and providing them with prototypes to test allowed us to receive invaluable feedback.”

This is a strong message for marketers as well as designers. We don’t do slow very well as a general rule these days.

Rounding out thoughts on the theme – Using Happiness to Optimize Longevity, I go back to one of my interview questions from January with Louisa Jewell, President of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association. Is not happiness both an opening attitude – as well as an outcome of the things we design? Judging by the apparent joy that radiates in the way the Stanford stories are told, this year the answer is yes.

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