Last Sunday I had the absolute pleasure of spending time with the beautiful Eden Ericson. Eden is an outgoing, art-loving, kind-hearted sixth grader who has cerebral palsy which causes her to use a wheelchair. She is one of many people we work with to identify design problems and to create effective solutions.
The purpose of this meeting was to kick off my senior design project. Much like Sidney working last year on her senior thesis with Amanda Jurysta, I get to spend my senior year creating something beautiful for Eden. Throughout the semester, I am working in a team with two other engineering students Amanda Chamberlain and Val Coldren. I spent some time catching them up on my previous experiences working with Eden, but it also gave me the opportunity to learn new things about her and her family's experiences trying to find everyday products that she can use. For instance, it took Eden's parents a lot of trial and error to finally find a water bottle that was easy to open but wouldn't break if dropped.
Eden also has a pink basket holding all of the necessities; iPod, water bottle, some pencils, and what she jokingly refers to as other 'junk'. The problem here is, as a preteen she told us she'd like to carry a purse instead, This is the problem space we are currently most interested in. We are currently working with Eden to explore how we might develop a solution that she can customize the look of everyday depending on her mood, outfit, etc.
My senior project teammates and I are spending Thanksgiving week reflecting on our meeting and doing some individual brainstorming. Next week, we'll reunite to compare initial sketches and see what Eden thinks of our progress.
- Laura, CEO