Enabled by Design-athon: DC Edition

  • August 8, 2013
The image is of black symbols over a yellow background. The symbols are in black ink and show different types of whimsical machines. On the right side of the image there is a vertical banner in blue which reads "Enabled by Design-athon" in white text.
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In just a few short months, designers, makers, and innovators will come together in Washington, DC for the 2013 Enabled by Design-athon.  The two day event will be a powerful gathering of creative minds dedicated to finding innovative solutions to problems faced by people with disabilities.

UCP Life Labs is partnering with London-based Enabled by Design in order to make the event a reality. Enabled by Design is a social business dedicated to design for all. Over the past five years, Enabled by Design has focused on “people-powered products and services” with great success. Their website has fantastic resources for “hacks” or modifications that can make existing technology accessible.  Enabled by Design also strives to connect people who would benefit from accessible technology to people who can find creative solutions.

The image is of a cluttered table top. The table is not visible because the image is fairly zoomed in and the table is covered completely with papers. The papers have drawings and handwritten text that is impossible to make out. A person holds a pen and writes on a white piece of paper on the right side of the image.Participants at the 2012 Enabled by Design-athon work to flesh out their ideas.

Last year, the Enabled by Design-athon was held in London. The two day event included presentations and speeches from designers. The main event was of course the Design-athon, which offered participants time and space to devise solutions for problems faced by people with disabilities. Enabled by Design posted a list of just a few of the projects participants worked on last year:

  • Assistive bathroom accessories that appeal to everyone
  • Playful crockery for dextrous dining
  • Designing for the awkwardness of asking for and offering help
  • The next generation kettle
  • Customised accessories for digital hearing aids
  • A modular, DIY home protection product

At the end of the weekend, judges announced their favorite projects. The second year of the Enabled by Design-athon will hopefully offer a similar crop of excellent ideas, but it will be held right here in Washington, DC.

Life Labs is working hard with Enabled By Design to make this year’s event just as successful as last year’s. If you’re interested in attending the Design-athon in November, keep an eye on Life Lab’s new website for updates about registration and where the event will be held.  If you’re interested in supporting the event, sponsorship opportunities are also available. No matter how you participate in the Design-athon, we are so excited to see everyone come together in our nation’s capital to focus on inclusive design and creative solutions. We hope to see you in November!

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