EMPATHY, DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY IN REALITY TV

Jude Pullen & ross atkin

Jude Pullen and Ross Atkin are designers who participated in the enormously popular BBC 2 reality series The Big Life Fix, about individually tailored design solutions for disability. Pullen is an award-winning engineer and Head of Research & Development at London start-up Sugru, and Atkin has masterminded everything from anti-terrorism bollards for the U.S. embassy to cable retraction systems for Dyson vacuum cleaners. In this animated talk, the duo explain how they devised a camera for a boy with a rare skin condition who could not operate a standard digital camera demonstrating that with the invention of the appropriate tools he is in fact no longer disabled. The clip of the show segment went viral, underscoring the power of moving image to create empathy and awareness. Ultimately, Pullen and Atkin hope that by demystifying the process of creation, they will encourage the development of people-centred technology at scale and hence a less disabling environment overall.