Currently, design is being treated as a “fetish of modern consumer society” rather than transforming life [1, pg 170]. This form of anti-design only serves to attract consumer’s attention and increase our addiction to consumption. I firmly believe that a shift in the way we think as designers can lead to a meaningful and potentially life changing outcome. For example, innovative designers such as Andrea Branzi were able to develop provocative research methodologies by looking at the poetic modes of design in architecture and inhabitation . This way of thinking allowed Branzi to gain a new perspective on the possibilities of new materials and surfaces. Aligning our creative ideas with the reality of our external world brings us closer to engaging in meaningful design. Anthony Dunne for example states that “[Design’s] outcome consists of conceptual design proposals offering a critique of the present through the material embodiment of functions derived from alternative value systems” [3, pg xvii]. Shifting our focus back on the experience and function, it enables the designer to explore new forms of aesthetic expression in design. In our globalized economy, inclusive design plays a crucial role and involves adopting a philosophy that encompasses not just the user’s needs but their social and cultural profile.
Applying human-centered design enables the designer to see and hear in new ways, solve problems using innovative solutions that meet the needs of the end user. In my work, I realized the fallout from an aging population and the increase of chronic pain amongst the older members of society had caused a transformation in their needs. Therefore, as a researcher and designer, I was able to gain insight through research and design thinking into the appropriateness of using technology and the type of experience necessary to allow chronic pain patients self-manage their pain. The first step for my research was understanding my users through an inclusive design process. Then, by combining user-centered design, knowledge of health sciences and artistic practices enabled me to develop a novel approach to manage pain and anxiety.
 Clarke, A. J. (2011). Design anthropology: Object culture in the 21st century. Wien: Springer.
 Mendini, A., Branzi, A., & Marzano, S. (1995). Television at the crossroads. London: Academy Editions.
 Dunne, A. (2005). Hertzian Tales: Electronic products, aesthetic experience, and critical design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.