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Methods Lab 2009

A sustainable lifestyle for all?

10-11 November 2009, Royal College of Art

To launch this Methods Lab, an opening lecture was held on the evening before the workshop started. Patricia Moore, an internationally renowned gerontologist and designer from the US, was in conversation with Professor Jeremy Myerson, Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre. Patricia outlined her career – from her famous disguised experiment (1979-1982) to the designs for the OXO Good Grips series, to a recent project, the public transport system for Phoenix city. She discussed her design methodologies, the ethical issues of her disguised experiment and its design impact.

The process
Four teams, selected from across the RCAs departments, worked with creative partners. They co-produced design concepts responding to the brief in this two-day intensive workshop. Two of the creative partners were hearing impaired and two had MS (Multiple Sclerosis). The creative partners were initially asked to describe their disabilities to inspire the teams. Each team also included a Helen Hamlyn Research Associate and member from the University of Third Age (U3A).

The brief: a sustainable lifestyle for all?
From cycling to recycling, there are many barriers that people from different generations and with disabilities face in terms of participating in a greener society. As a designer, communicator, maker or artist, working with your creative partner and in collaboration with your team develop a design proposal that enables all to attain a more sustainable lifestyle.

The design proposals
There were no restrictions to the format of the final presentations but an eight-minute time limit was imposed. All the teams were asked to introduce their team members, explain the findings from the discussions with their creative partners and their interpretation of inclusivity and sustainability before they presented their design ideas.

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