I am planning a trip to New York in February, since I need to visit the Cooper Hewitt design museum and their exhibition “Access+Ability”.
New York Times wrote about the essence of why this exhibition is on right now, at a place that curates some of the worlds best design solutions.
I visited the museum in November, taking part of a transatlantic design collaboration between Denmark and NY. More specific KADK, Design School Kolding, Danish Design Museum, Danish Design Center, Design denmark, Parsons School of Design NY and the Cooper Hewitt design museum – to promote the Danish Design Award, but moreover engage the two places and organisations to join forces to establish synergies of greater collaboration. This was initiated by the Danish General Consulate in New York, and the highlight of the trip was a two days workshop and symposium to find shared interests.
It was through my engagement that I heard about the exhibition, and researching accessory design practices, looking into wearable health technology companies to create engaging and personal wearable health objects that meet the needs of persons with different physical, cognitive and sensory abilities – the focus of the “Access+Ability” conversation is very present. It simply needs more action.
Joining the team in New York I got the opportunity to visit other initiatives that work in the area of Social Design. Civic Service Design Center at the NYC Mayors office for Economic Opportunity was one of the places. Here four people worked and served 300.000 citizens, by providing design methods and process help to civil staff members, in different organisations in NYC.
I have always been fascinated of designs impact on governmental level, which the Municipality in Kolding has worked with and facilitated since 2013.
When it comes to wearable health technology devices, Sarah Kettley and I have written a journal article for the International Journal of Design, to frame how we can design more humanistic wearables that meets the real needs of the person. You can read the article and about the Accessory Approach here. This is another conversation, and Yesterday new numbers from the Danish Handicap Foundation revealed that 65% of their members did private investments in buying helping aids, to fit their personal needs, instead of using those provided by the municipality.
“Access+Ability” fills a big gap here, and I would be happy to document and analyse the exhibition to write more about the matter, for now Ill have to focus on my research contribution for the Computer Human Interaction conference CHI2018, which will take place in Canada in April. One conversation at a time…
Happy New Years!