This Panda Is Dancing

"In the Attention Economy, technology and media are designed to maximize our screen-time. But what if they were designed to help us live by our values?

What if news & media companies were creating content that enriched our lives, vs. catering to our most base instincts for clicks?
What if social platforms were designed to help us create our ideal social lives, instead of to maximize time-on site and “likes”?
What if dating apps measured their success in how well they helped us find what we’re looking for instead of in # of swipes?

As technology gets more and more engaging, and as AI and VR become more and more prevalent in our day-to-day lives we need to take a look at how we’re structuring our future."

Time Well Spent is a movement to align technology with our humanity, a "movement of designers and companies who measure their success not by maximizing usage, but by net positive contributions to human lives." (via Time Well Spent, YouTube)

Creating an Age-Friendly City

"Right now, there are over 1 million older New Yorkers living in the city, and by 2030 this number is expected to increase by 50% -- the most rapid increase in history. Soon, NYC will have more older adults than school-aged children.
To prepare for this transformation, The Office of the Mayor, the New York City Council, and the New York Academy of Medicine partnered to create Age-friendly NYC. Healthy, active and engaged older people are assets to all areas of city life. Age-friendly NYC challenges all sectors of the city to re-imagine aging and consider how best to serve and benefit from this growing population."

A "Quiet Hour" for Autistic Shoppers

An Asda superstore in Manchester turned off in-store music and display TVs and introduced a "quiet hour" for autistic shoppers and others who feel intimidated or stressed by noise. In the meantime, eight other shops in Manchester are planning to hold quiet hours. The quiet hour will be held every Saturday.

It all started when Simon Lea, manager of the Asda Living store at Manchester Fort, saw a boy with autism struggling to cope in the shop.

“It’s all about helping people really. Six months ago I would have said ‘control your child’ even though I’ve got children. But speaking to people with autism and disabled people has helped me think about how I can make it a better place to shop.”
Simon Lea (The Independent)

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Photograph (Asda Chatham) via Russels Construction

A Woman's Place Is In The Street

City governments in Spain are removing street names that are associated with General Francisco Franco's rule and "using the opportunity to commemorate more women, who currently lend their names to just 5 percent of Spain's streets." Those 5% featured are usually saints or nuns. According to El Diario, 137 Madrid streets are named after female saints, only one is named after a female teacher.
"It's almost as if the situation is the practical confirmation of the popular saying - that a woman's place is not in the street, but in the house." Patricia Arias Chachero
In Valencia, four out of five newly named streets have to bear the names of women. In one district, eight streets are being renamed and the public can choose from a list that includes Marie Curie and Rosa Luxemburg. Bilbao, Oviedo and Càdiz are some of the cities updating street names. (via CityLab)

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Image via Wikipedia

Accessibility App Simulates Colourblindness

An Android app developed by Bill Anderson this year helps both designers and developers experience colourblind vision in order to apply accessibility to their work (The Costa Rica Star).
"The Colorblind Simulator app for Android is a collection of simulation tools. It includes tools for images, text, Material Design colors, and any single RGB color. Currently, it is the only color blindness simulation toolbox available for Android."
::: Colorblind Simulator Pro: LINK

- Coblis - Color Blindness Simulator: LINK
- Ishihara Color Test: LINK
- Color Blind Check (free test app): LINK
- Color Blindness - learn all about it: LINK

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Images via Google

Seeing Again ... With Visual Prosthetics

"The researchers Elisa Castaldi and Maria Concetta Morrone implanted the Argus II retinal prosthesis system in seven patients with retinitis pigmentosa, one of many retinal degenerative conditions that lead to blindness. The system sends small light pulses to the retina’s remaining cells, bypassing damaged photoreceptors, and stimulating the few remaining retinal cells. These cells then transmit this visual information along the optic nerve to the brain, allowing the person to perceive light patterns, and eventually see again. Before the surgery, all of the patients had been blind for 20 years. At the most, they had bare light perception."
“We tested the ability of our patients to detect big and high contrast shapes presented very briefly. When using the prosthetic implant, they reached up to 90 percent accuracy in this task.”  Elisa Castaldi
Via/More: mental_floss

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Image via beye

Drei Fragen an Martin J. Goessl

In unserer Reihe "Drei Fragen an..." befragen wir Grazerinnen und Grazer nach Ideen zur inklusiveren Gestaltung der Stadt. Unser erstes Gespräch führten wir mit Martin J. Goessl, Geisteswissenschafter und Diversity-Experte.

MLM: Was bedeutet "inklusive Stadt" für dich? Und wie wichtig ist dieses Ziel?

MG: Eine inklusive Stadt schafft Flächen, die ohne Ausschluss Räume bietet, in denen sich Menschen mit ihren unterschiedlichen Facetten wohlfühlen. Dabei sind Orte gegeben, die teils eine kontroversielle Diskussion aushalten als auch Sicherheit bieten. Eine inklusive Stadt nimmt sowohl auf Nähe als auch auf Abstand Rücksicht in dem sie nicht alles allen zumutet und nicht alles überall anbietet, sondern die Höhe und Breite nutzt, um alles gemeinsam oder für sich selbst einen Raum zu ermöglichen.

MLM: Spielplätze für ältere Generationen, integrierte Rampen, ausgeleuchtete Parkanlagen in der Nacht, gleichgeschlechtliche Paare auf Verkehrsampeln, ein Gebetshaus für drei Religionen… es gibt viele Good Practices. Was würdest du einführen/dir wünschen, um aus Graz eine inklusive Stadt zu machen?

MG: Es scheint mir das Konzept Abstand in Graz gut gelungen zu sein. Man kann Abstand halten zu anderen (Menschen, Kulturen, etc.); daher würde ich mehr Begegnungsflächen mir wünschen. Eine belebte Mur als Naherholungsgebiet mit multiplen Nutzungsmöglichkeiten für Familien, jungen und alten Menschen, Freunde oder einfach nur als Entspannungsort. Der Fluss – in einer südlichen Stadt wie Graz – kann eine breite Funktion einnehmen wie sonst nur wenig Räume einer Stadt.

MLM: Zum Abschluss: Deine Lieblingsstadt/-städte? 

MG: New York

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Foto (c) Martin Goessl


Enjoy your weekend with the official trailer of "Asperger's Are Us"!

Microsoft's Seeing Artificial Intelligence

"Saqib is a core Microsoft developer living in London, who lost the use of his eyes at age 7. He found inspiration in computing and is helping build Seeing AI, a research project that helps people who are visually impaired or blind to better understand who and what is around them. The project is built using intelligence APIs from Microsoft Cognitive Services." (Microsoft)

Ageing Flatmates

"I believe we have to start a whole new attitude to how we treat society in relationship to ageing."
Mattias Hollwich
Indeed, I couldn't agree more. According to Hollwich, current housing options for older people create social segregation (and loneliness) and better solutions are needed, such as co-living complexes.
"Retirement is an amazing idea, but it sucks. What happens is people retire, then they entertain themselves for the rest of their life."  
"We as planners have to find alternatives. We need to provide places where people can unleash their creative powers. And we should allow people to be students forever."  
Mattias Hollwich (via Dezeen)
Truer words were never spoken...

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Photograph via Simon & His Camera