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Morton Kesten Universal Design Competition 2016 Winners

In this juried competition, students from across the country submitted designs that used principles of Universal Design that support aging in place to either re-conceptualize an interior or develop a new product.Click here to read more about the 2016 competition.

1st Place Winner
Lamar Pi, San Francisco State University, CA, Industrial Design Program


MODU is designed to assist those who face mobility challenges by supporting independence in the home environment. The intent is to create a universal tray, along with an ecosystem of accessories, which is highly modular and customizable per user for existing, widely used products on the market such as the walker, rollator, and wheelchair. We aspire for users to become more independent and confident to complete everyday tasks around the house, ultimately improving the quality of life, and enabling users to age in place.

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2nd Place Winner 
By Zoe Logan
New York University, NY, Interactive Telecommunications Program


Handled! is a set of assistive kitchen tools to empower di­fferently abled users to have better access to the pleasure of cooking. This series includes a stabilizing cutting board and adaptive modular handles for enhancing existing kitchen utensils. The handles are heat and food safe cast silicone that come in three basic shapes and can be used alone or combined according to the needs of the user. They are designed to live on the tools but are not prohibitive to normally-abled users.

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3rd Place Winner
Student Team: Casey Whitney, Lauren LoPresti, Leah Truesdell,
with Graduate Assistant Ariel Lesnick
Mount Ida College, Newton, MA, Interior Architecture + Design program


Our client (user/expert) for this project was Penny, a senior citizen with dexterity limitations that kept her from using a smart phone. Penny stated that the ability to use a smart phone would make her daily life easier, which led to the idea for grip.ABLE, a smartphone case with an attached handle which would allow individuals with various levels of dexterity to grip the case. By putting the grip.ABLE smart phone case on the market, it introduces a new product that currently does not exist and opens up a new world to people with dexterity limitations.

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