Voting period for this idea type has passed

Fringe Design: Tackling Disability and Death

Who gives a f*ck about techies? We don’t.
We prefer to consider those at the fringes of life. Yes, we’re talking about incapacitation and death. It’s not fun. It’s not sexy. And it certainly won’t inspire the next wave of thoughtful design. Or will it?
Every stage of life, planned or unplanned, has its unique set of challenges, yet our focus is on the average, the repeatable and the “target audience.” What would happen if we considered audiences at the fringes of life, with real problems that are typically ignored?
Creativity flourishes when we dismiss the status quo and attack a problem with a different set of challenges. How can technology help us prepare for death? How can it help the disabled live more normal lives? And how can it help us retain our identities, even when we can’t express them anymore?
Join us to learn how designing for the fringe gives us a different perspective to unlock our creative potential. As you know, we’ll all join the fringe sooner or later.


  1. I thought creativity lived with the young, so how does the fringe inspire new ideas?
  2. Among advocates and members of the fringe, who’s kicking ass and what can we learn from them?
  3. Shouldn’t I care about impacting the most people possible? Should we build websites, apps and businesses to support their needs? Is there any money there?
  4. When designing for the incapacitated, should we also consider their families and caregivers? How can we help them interact, both in real life and digital?
  5. How can digital technology help people prepare for the end of life and ensure a graceful preservation of their legacy?



Evan Carroll, Author/Founder, The Digital Beyond

Add Comments

comments powered by Disqus

SXSW reserves the right to restrict access to or availability of comments related to PanelPicker proposals that it considers objectionable.

Show me another