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ID Students Design for Aging in Place

ID Students Design for Aging in Place

Industrial Design (ID) and CHCI faculty, Elham Morshedzadeh and her colleague, Ben Kirkland, asked their undergraduate students to create design course projects with the prompt ‘Aging in Place’. The class collaborated with SFCS Architects in Roanoke and Warm Hearth Village in Blacksburg on their projects shown below.

The Industrial Design program in the School of Architecture + Design at VT has been collaborating over the past 11 years with SFCS Architects in Roanoke, to address the ever-evolving challenges of Aging in Place. This year, professors Morshedzadeh and Kirkland were able to continue this project with SFCS and Warm Hearth despite the restrictions of a pandemic. To carry out research and design for Aging in Place, students have historically visited the Warm Hearth Village of Blacksburg to meet with residents to understand end-users and their community. But this year, COVID-19 disrupted the interactive project and almost eliminated it. However, the project received amazing support from SFCS, including data and professional mentorship sessions, and from the staff and residents of Warm Hearth who agreed to meet online several times. The project this year not only was made possible, but according to the sponsors, it was one of the most engaging and successful collaborations that they had ever had with VTID. 

There were 7 teams of 4-5 students each, with 7 mentors from SFCS, several expert advisors from multiple industries, many residents from Warm Hearth, and other external user volunteers. Each team gave a 10-minute final presentation for class; they will also present their work at the "By Design Conference" in February 2021 in an online exhibition.

Four of the seven teams had projects with HCI-related features; these are:

HomeBase (An interactive key bowl)

HomeBase (An interactive key bowl)
HomeBase (An interactive key bowl): Ryan Conklyn, Reid Holbert, Anna Lewis, Aziza Louri, Alvaro Ramos

CoPort (Portable pill dispenser to prevent medical non-adherence)

CoPort (Portable pill dispenser to prevent medical non-adherence)
CoPort (Portable pill dispenser to prevent medical non-adherence): Taylor Davis, Katianne Dunay, Berklee Huffard, Alex Leininger, Azabien Prince

Amity (Connected community gaming board)

Amity (Connected community gaming board)
Amity (Connected community gaming board): Sophie Dukes, James Krasner, Callan McGill, Hayley Stout

Hearbuds (Inclusive hearing device)

Hearbuds (Inclusive hearing device)
Hearbuds (Inclusive hearing device): Karen Lane, Kate Santus, Minakshi Seth, RJ Weaver