Huge congrats to my CCA student Jean Lin! Her Arm Ray Wheelchair Lights were deemed notable by the 2012 Core 77 Design Awards for Consumer Products, in the student category. Jean did this project for ID4, a design studio for juniors, that I co-taught last spring. The class was asked to create objects that enhance mobile safety, based on design research around a specific user. Jean chose to study people who use wheelchairs. And to meet a bunch of them, she found the local wheelchair basketball practice and hung out. Here's what the judges said:
The jury was particularly impressed with the thoroughness of the research behind ArmRay. Building intimate connections into the user’s life helped establish a design that really answered their needs.There are still plenty of designers, students and professionals, who see design research as a way to justify what they already wanted to do, rather than inspire new directions. Jean's openness to folks with a really different perspective paid off big time. Way to go Jean!