Great experience design is incredibly powerful, it has the potential to change the world. Maybe this sounds idealistic but to me that is the ideal, intelligent design that makes the world a better place.
Take Carlos Arturo Torres Tovar from Colombia who created a prototype for a prosthetic arm for children. Carlos discovered that no one had really considered prosthesis design from the experience of a child. He spent time interviewing the parents of children with congenital hand disabilities and realised that the emotional and social needs of kids weren’t being met. He set about designing a prototype that would be an empowering tool for kids with disabilities.
“Currently I consider that prosthesis are not really designed for kids, yes they are functional in a traditional way, but kids in disability need more than a traditional tool, the physical aspect is just one of the big challenges of growing up, the psychological and the social aspect are as equally important and I wanted to do something about it.” – Carlos Arturo Torres Tovar
The prosthetic arm incorporates lego components, enabling kids to build modifications and have autonomy over the design of their prosthetic. This creative interaction is a fun way to engage with other kids, an educational tool, a way to remove stigma towards people with disabilities and ultimately enables kids to just be kids. Clearly much more than just a tool that meets a singular need, something that has the potential to change a kid’s life.
Innovative designers like Carlos form part of a vast, diverse global network of designers taking on challenges and looking for ways to uplift people’s lives and bring value through their designs. Great designers go after the problems that resonate with them and it’s really interesting to see some of the holistic and creative solutions designers have found to very human problems. Being driven by a deep sense of empathy for the people you are designing for is a key quality of any experience designer in a post-materialistic world. All people have emotional and psychological needs beyond the obvious and it’s imperative that as designers we create products that bring meaning and human fulfilment. And we live in a world where this type of design is being informed by a vast many voices and I for one am incredibly excited to see what sort of profound change this brings to the way we consume products and experiences.