Link October 2018 Volume 27 Issue 5 - Page 11

news including Paro the fluffy white seal built to help people with dementia to communicate and Jaspar the doll-like social robot that teaches children with autism to feel more comfortable with social interaction. He said there is enormous opportunity for robotics to empower power with disability, but much work is needed to make these technologies accessible to all. British Professor of Disability Research at the University of East Anglia, Tom Shakespeare, was also hopeful of the opportunities social robotics presents but said ethical research must accompany technological advancement. “Relationships between care Designer lights up T asmanian furniture and lighting designer Duncan Meerding recently won Best Floor Light Award in the 2018 DARC Awards. Duncan attended the awards, workers and people with disability known as the ‘Oscars of the design are so important. I think relying industry’, in London recently and on robots could change the way collected the award for his stump we value this care,” he said. light design. www.unsw.edu.au He said winning the award was an honour, especially given the award is Duncan has a strong connection judged by more than 6,000 industry with sustainability in design, with professionals. his log-based designs made from “Having so many of my peers voting for my stump design in such an international voting system, really makes me feel honoured,” he said. Duncan is legally blind with less salvaged wood which would have otherwise have been burned. “Sustainability should be at the core of the design process, it should not be tacked on at the end; furniture than five per cent vision concentrated and lights should be designed to around the peripheral fields. stand the test of time,” he said. He said much of his work reflects Duncan said he could attend the the alternative sensory world in DARC Awards in London as he was which he operates, and his interest already in Europe for the opening of is focussed on how light performs the Venice Design 2018 exhibition, as through and around objects. part of the Venice Biennale. He was “The stump light is a specific one of 60 designers from around the example of this, with the randomised world who took part in the invite-only light patterns thrown through the exhibition. different cracks in each light,” he said. linkonline.com.au Above: Duncan Meerding with his stump lights at Venice Design. www.duncanmeerding.com.au news 11