The Stanford Center on Longevity hosted its 3rd annual Design Challenge in April, a competition that was developed to encourage students to design solutions for seniors in two categories: mind and mobility. Stanford’s Design Challenge promotes innovation in aging and is quickly proving to be the birthplace of many objects that have the potential to improve the way older adults live.
In the mobility category, the 2016 winner was City Cart. City Cart is a hybrid between a walker and a shopping cart, making shopping trips a breeze for users with mobility issues. Created by Eric Renard and Brandon Lopez, two design students from San Francisco State, the hybrid walker folds up for easy storage, has breaks for downhill climbs and has all the functionality while still being visually appealing. The duo said they were inspired by 82-year-old Dr. June Fisher, who has tested the prototype and can’t wait to get her hands on the final product.
When discussing her experience with the challenge, Dr. Fisher said, “Don’t design for us. Design with us.” She advocates that products designed for older adults should be tested by older adults in order to assess their value in the real world.
In the mind category, first place was awarded to an interactive computer game called “Memoir Monopoly”. The game is meant to be part of a rehabilitation solution for patients with dementia and is unique in the fact that it can be customized to include photos from the person’s life, creating a more personalized and engaging experience.
Other finalists in the Design Challenge include: PicMemory, a mobile application designed to encourage social interaction for people with dementia, Veevo, a compact, in-home workout station, and Sturdy Swivel, a swiveling seat that helps seniors more readily enter and exit a vehicle which helps them maintain their independence and mobility.
We’re excited to see competitions such as this one encourage younger designers and inventors to innovate the aging sphere by creating new technologies and products that will help older adults age in place! To learn more about the challenge, watch the video below where Ken Smith, Mobility Division Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, provides a summary of the 2015-2016 Design Challenge!