This weekend when my friends asked me what I was going to do for my thesis, I stared back at them blankly. Oops... definitely need to get back to that.
For anyone who doesn't know, my dad has spent a lot of time in the hospital over the past six months. Consequently, I have spent a lot of time visiting him in the hospital over the past six months. What I have noticed is that there is a big segment of opportunity in the category of patient care and comfort. Industrial design is a powerful tool to make a better, more ergonomic scalpel, but I think it is high time to help patients feel better, get better rest, and receive better care as a result of good design.
Also, while I was home for the holidays I picked up an old issue of Inc. magazine. This is a great resource for the well-rounded, well informed designer (the magazine covers lots of business-related issues, especially those that relate to start-up businesses...it is not unlike fastcompany.) Many of the articles were relevant, but one entitled 'Sharing Gary/How I made peace with my husband's other love: his Blackberry' really struck a cord. I have observed how much of a negative impact new technology has on social interactions for awhile. More than one distracted-by-her-blackberry mom has brought her kid into the diner where I work for a meal. It kills me to see people prioritize co-workers over their own children. In the same way, I have seen what a valuable tool my own mother's blackberry has been while my dad has been in the hospital. Although she is often unavailable to talk on the phone, my mom will send updates via text message. A thesis that looks closer at the boundaries (or lack thereof) of 'connectedness' would be interesting, if lofty.