In her design speech, Mileha Soneji explains how small solutions can make a big impact. The speaker shares a personal story about her uncle with Parkinson's. Every year 60,000 new people are diagnosed with the disease, which causes the nervous system to degenerate and robs its victims of their independence -- and often their confidence.
The speaker encourages designers to boil down multifaceted problems to smaller parts they can solve. For example, instead of curing an illness, you can address specific symptoms to make daily tasks easier. From no-spill cups for tremors to a printed staircase illusion to stimulate continuous movement when walking on flat land, human-centered answers are the key.
The design speech goes on to say 'smart' is now synonymous with high tech. But why can't it mean simple yet effective? Soneji advocates for empathy and curiosity, testing and failing if needed.