Keynote Address

Keynote Address by Dr. Deana McDonagh – faculty member of both the Industrial Design in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology.

  • This talk is about industrial design.
  • What is industrial design? Everything we interact with, everything we touch and manipulate.
  • “We gradually adapt and adjust to our material environments”.
  • “Normality of doing things differently”. We’re not designing for older people, we’re designing for the future.
  • Looking at industrial design as human-centered design.
  • A concept of ”empathy horizon”. Designing for somebody outside of our “empathy horizon” leads to “crap design” and also inaccessible. An example of braille signs posted 7 feet high on university walls.
  • “Empathic modelling”: putting the designers into the users shoes, i.e. taking away their vision while using / interacting with a designed product.
  • “The only way to experience experience is to experience it”.
  • “Empathic modeling can be low tech or high tech and very helpful for ALL to learn how to best address the needs of ALL” via Twitter
  • An example of authentic human behaviour: speaker sticking post-it notes on her phone’s screen.
  • “Disability + Relevant Design” Book
  • Smithsonian Institution: empathic modelling with engineering students.