Roger Ebert, on Empathy

“We are who we are: where we are born, who we were born as, how we were raised. We’re kind of stuck inside that person, and the purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people. And for me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy.”

From the introductory voiceover for “Life Itself”

Beige Be Gone – Designing for Stylish Silvers

In the 80s, not much thought was given to the outward appearance of PCs. Focus was on the inner workings – the design of the hard drive, chips, circuitry. In the Beige Age, computers came in a big putty-colored box, with little variation. OK, maybe black, but still.

Fast-forward to the 2010, where the average lifespan has increased to 78.7 years, 5 years longer than for children born in 1980 (CDC). As we age, our body parts begin to show signs of wear. New, assistive and even bionic products help us recapture, or even surpass our former capabilities.

Contrast this bionic future with a search on Pinterest for “products for seniors” and you’ll find mostly utilitarian gear and gadgets in cold stainless and boring beige. In the quest to solve a particular need, solutions are often situation-centered rather than human-centered.

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