Society & Culture
Megan Strickfaden recognized for looking at how small details of design can make a big difference for people with physical and mental challenges.
The word “design” brings up images of fashionable clothes or sleek cars. To Megan Strickfaden, it’s about much simpler things, like ironing a shirt or being able to reach a top shelf.
As a design anthropologist, researcher and professor, Strickfaden has spent 30 years—the last 10 of them at the University of Alberta—using smart design to empower people with disabilities.
“I believe design can change people's lives in the very small details of life; that’s what makes up our lives, cooking a meal or getting to work, what we do every day and take for granted.”
Indeed, Strickfaden has devoted her career at looking for ways design can make life simpler for those with challenges like blindness, dementia and physical limitations. Based on her own experience growing up with family members with disabilities, she understood early on the...