Solving a Problem

Select a theme below. Analyze issues related to these topics. Find a problem that you and your team would like to take on. Then provide a solution preferably using novel technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Design for Disability

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 61 million adults in the United States (26%) live with some disability. They are contributing to our social economics as a part of our workforce and consumers in the market. However, this population still lacks products and services that can ease their daily lives, resulting in them depending more on their non-disabled peers. Designing with Disability in mind must be inclusive, accessible, and flexible. It is important to consider mobility, visual impairment, auditory abilities, and cognitive function to promote independence.

Design for Aging

As we grow older, our physical abilities start to decline. Our vision, hearing, and mobility get compromised, and our need for supportive aids increases. Due to the constant increasing life expectancy and lower level of fertility, The United Nations projects that the elderly population will be the majority by the year 2050. This population- adults over 65 years old – often requires tools (e.g., walkers; hearing aids) to perform daily activities. However, many will neglect to use these tools due to social stigma. Developing products and services that encourage their own use can meet this population's needs and improve their independence, safety, happiness, and comfort.

Design for Gender Inclusivity 

According to a recent study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 27% of California teens identify as gender non-conforming (GNC), meaning they do not adhere to binary (male vs female) gender norms. That’s in California alone. A similar study conducted by the Walter J. Thomson Innovation Group found that 80% of Gen Z (people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) believe that gender does not define a person as much as it used to, and over 50% said that they knew someone who went by gender-neutral pronouns (“ze” or “they”). Keep in mind that Gen Z comprises 25% of the U.S. population, making them a larger cohort than millennials and baby boomers.


Design for Racial Equity

Racial equality ensures that people from all walks of life can compete fairly for the same opportunities. This increases competition in certain fields, such as sports and politics, due to an increased number of enthusiastic and capable competitors. Currently across the country, regardless of region, racial inequities exist across every indicator for success—including health, criminal justice, education, jobs, housing, and beyond. A global awareness of racism and racial inequality, sparked by the death of George Floyd in May 2020, reverberated around the globe. In a year that has seen global challenges from Covid 19, global financial difficulties and environmental concerns, society has been made to stand up and revisit history and past conduct, and seek instruction for the future.

Design for equity in SES

Socio-economic inequalities are defined as inequalities that relate to differences in income, social class, occupational background, educational achievement and neighborhood deprivation. These are distinguished from socio-demographic differences, which relate to factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, number of children, household composition and living arrangements. Technology has contributed to the rise in inequality, but there are also some significant ways in which technology could reduce it. For example, while computers have improved our lives in many ways, they haven’t yet done much to make health care and education cheaper. Over the next few decades, however, that may well change: We can easily imagine medical diagnosis by online artificial intelligence, greater use of online competitive procurement for health care services, more transparency in pricing and thus more competition, and much cheaper online education for many students, to cite just a few possibilities.

Address

Mixed Reality Lab
463, Nancy Randolph Davis
Stillwater, OK 74078


Contacts

Email: tilanka@okstate.edu
Phone: 405-744-9524