RIT Creativity and Innovation Alumni Spotlight Symposium – Patricia Moore

RIT Creativity and Innovation Alumni Spotlight Symposium – Patricia Moore


AND, LAST BUT NOT LEAST, OUR FINAL PRESENTER. AND BEFORE I GET HARASSED FOR PLACING THE SINGULAR FEMALE ON THE PANEL LAST, LET ME TELL YOU THAT SHE SELECTED HER SPOT. PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING INFLUENTIAL INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER, 1974 GRADUATE IN ART & DESIGN, PATRICIA MOORE, TO THE STAGE. PATRICIA? [APPLAUSE] PATTIE MOORE HAS BEEN A GUIDING FORCE FOR A MORE HUMANE AND LIVABLE WORLD, BLAZING A PATH FOR INCLUSIVENESS THROUGH UNIVERSAL DESIGN. SHE IS AN INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED GERONTOLOGIST AND DESIGNER, AND A LEADING AUTHORITY ON CONSUMER LIFESPAN BEHAVIORS AND REQUIREMENTS. FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS, FROM 1979 TO 1982, IN AN EXCEPTIONAL AND DARING EXPERIMENT, PATTIE TRAVELED THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA DISGUISED AS A WOMAN MORE THAN EIGHTY YEARS OF AGE. WITH HER BODY ALTERED TO SIMULATE THE NORMAL SENSORY CHANGES ASSOCIATED WITH AGING, SHE WAS ABLE TO RESPOND TO PEOPLE, PRODUCTS, AND ENVIRONMENTS AS AN ELDER. SHE WROTE ABOUT HER EXPERIENCES IN HER BOOK DISGUISED: A TRUE STORY. PATRICIA HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY ID MAGAZINE AS ONE OF THE 40 MOST SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS DESIGNERS IN THE WORLD AND WAS SELECTED BY A CONSORTIUM OF NEWS EDITORS AND ORGANIZATIONS, AS ONE OF THE 100 MOST IMPORTANT WOMEN IN AMERICA. SHE IS ALSO A 2012 INDUCTEE IN RIT’S INNOVATION HALL OF FAME AS WELL AS A DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENT IN 1982. SHE HAS LECTURED AT UNIVERSITIES THROUGHOUT NORTH AMERICA, AUSTRALIA, CHINA, EUROPE, KOREA, JAPAN, NEW ZEALAND, AND RUSSIA AND WE ARE EXTREMELY LUCKY TO HAVE HER HERE TODAY. PLEASE GIVE A WARM RIT WELCOME TO PATRICIA MOORE. [APPLAUSE]>>PATRICIA MOORE: WHEN I CAME TO RIT WE WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE VIETNAM WAR. HAVING A FRONT ROW SEAT FOR THE ATROCITY HAS BECOME A SURPRISE PIECE OF WORK IN MY LIFE. I AM HUMBLED BY IT. I AM HONORED TO SERVE. I’LL NEVER TOUCH A GUN. I’VE NEVER WORKED ON MUNITIONS. BUT I’M PLEASED TO TRY AND PUT LIVES BACK TOGETHER WHEN THEY HAVE BEEN DESTROYED BY THE ULTIMATE VULGARITY. FOR ME KENT STATE WAS VERY PERSONAL. I CAME HERE AT THE AGE OF 17. MY BOYFRIEND, A PHOTOGRAPHER MAJOR, WAS NUMBER FOUR FOR THE DRAFT. I WAS DEVASTATED TO KNOW HE WAS GOING TO DIE IN A RICE PADDY FOR SOMETHING THAT FOR US AS STUDENTS MADE NO SENSE. AND YOU SAW THE BEAUTIFUL ILLUSTRATIONS JUST A MOMENT AGO THAT MADE THE REST OF AMERICA START TO QUESTION WHY ARE WE DOING THIS. AND WHY HAS BECOME A VERY BIG PIECE OF MY CAREER. I CAME HERE THINKING I WOULD PAY MY BILLS BY BECOMING A MEDICAL ILLUSTRATOR. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN ARTIST, BUT I ALSO HAD SORT OF A FINANCIAL BENT AND I KNEW I WOULD STARVE TO DEATH UNLESS I COULD GET A J-O-B AND THEN I WOULD BE FAMOUS AS A PAINTER. AND I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED BEING ABLE TO CREATE WITH PAPER AND PENCIL AND PEN AND BRUSH AND PAINT AND INK. I THRIVE IN THOSE MOMENTS. THOSE ARE MY QUIET MOMENTS WHERE EVERY DAY I MUST DO SOMETHING ARTISTIC. BUT WHILE I WAS A SOPHOMORE HERE, A GROUP OF MEN IN SUITS CAME TO THE DEAN’S OFFICE AND I WAS SENT FOR AND I COULDN’T REALLY THINK WHY I WAS BEING SUMMONED YET AGAIN. [LAUGHTER] I’M IRISH AND I’M FROM BUFFALO. THE DEAN EXPLAINED THAT THESE GENTLEMEN WERE FROM NEW YORK CITY AND IF I WAS WILLING, THEY WOULD LIKE TO HIRE ME. AT THE SAME TIME I WAS REALIZING I WASN’T GOING TO BE A PAINT AND ARE — PAINTER AND I WAS SEDUCED BY INDUSTRIAL DESIGN. SO SIMULTANEOUSLY I WAS SOUGHT AFTER BECAUSE I WAS A BROAD, TRUTHFULLY. AND A PROFESSOR HERE THOUGHT I HAD THE RIGHT STUFF TO BE A WOMAN IN DESIGN. SO MY DRAWING CHANGED, MY ART CHANGED, AND MY LIFE CHANGED. WHEN I BECAME AN INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER. BUT TYPICALLY AS THE ONLY BROAD IN THE ROOM, I REALIZED THAT SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH THE FORMULA OF INNOVATION AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND WHAT WE WERE DOING AND I BEGAN TO ASK WHAT ABOUT THOSE OTHER PEOPLE. THE PEOPLE LIKE MY GRANDPARENTS I GREW UP WITH. AND WHEN I TOLD MR. LOWEI WAS TIRED OF DESIGNING JUST FOR PEOPLE WITH MONEY AND PEOPLE WITH CAPACITY, HE WAS ENTHRALLED. AND HE ASKED WHY. AND I SAID EXACTLY WHY. AND WHY NOT? WHY AREN’T WE LOOKING AFTER THE DISENFRANCHISED, THE PEOPLE WHO ARE RELYING ON US MORE THAN MOST TO CARE FOR THEM AND CARE ABOUT THEM? AND WHEN I WAS BOLD ENOUGH TO USE THE WORD EMPATHY IN DESIGN PEOPLE THOUGHT I WAS ABSOLUTELY OUT OF MY MIND. AND WHEN I ASKED TO GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL, HE SAID YES BUT PEOPLE STARTED ASKING “DON’T YOU WANT TO BE A DESIGNER ANYMORE” BECAUSE SADLY BACK IN THE ’70s WE DIDN’T THINK ABOUT A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO ANYTHING. AND OF COURSE NOW I’VE LIVED LONG ENOUGH THE SEE IT AS THE ONLY THING. WHEN I WAS IN CHARACTER, I REALIZED THAT THE FUTURE HELD JOYS AND TRIALS, BUT THAT AT ALL AGES WE WERE GOING TO WANT TO BE MADE ABLE BY DESIGN. AND SO I NEVER USED THE WORD “DISABILITY.” I DON’T BELIEVE IN IT. I THINK WE ALL HAVE CAPACITY. AND IT’S MY JOB TO EMBRACE YOURS AND COMPENSATE FOR ANYTHING YOU WISH. BUT WHEN I WAS EMBEDDED IN THE USSR, I LEARNED SOMETHING ABOUT THE WORLD AS A LITTLE BUFFALO GIRL THAT I NEVER COULD HAVE IMAGINED. A POLITICAL AGENDA THAT HURT PEOPLE THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. AND A POLITICAL AGENDA THAT WAS SO HELL BENT ON DESTRUCTION THAT CONSUMERISM DIDN’T EXIST. THIS IS A HYDROFOIL THAT THE LOWE GROUP REDESIGNED UNDER THE SOVIET DETANT AGREEMENT, PRESIDENT NIXON. PROBABLY THE BEST THING HE DID. BUT WE WERE UNABLE TO GET THIS PRODUCED IN THE COMMUNIST BLOC OR BY THE USSR BECAUSE THEY SIMPLY DIDN’T HAVE THE WILL TO CHANGE. AND IF I HAVE ANY SENSE OF FAILURE IN MY CAREER THUS FAR IT’S THAT WE HAVEN’T GOTTEN ANY FARTHER THAN THAT MOMENT. WITH MY WORK HAS COME GREAT MEDIA ATTENTION. THAT HAS BEEN ONE OF MY MOST POWER TOOLS. BEING A VOICE FOR DESIGN AND RECOGNIZING THE ROLE OF DESIGN IN ALL OF OUR LIVES HAS GIVEN ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO ASK A LOT OF “WHY’S.” AND WHY NOTES. AND TO CHANGE ATTITUDES. AND DIRECTIONS. AND IT TAKES POWERFUL FRIENDS. I’VE KNOWN OPRAH SINCE SHE HAD AN AFRO. AND SHE GOT ONE AGAIN RECENTLY. AND I’VE WORKED WITH PEOPLE WITH VERY DEEP POCKETS LIKE THE FARBERS TO START COMPANIES THAT DID SMALLER THINGS BUT IN A WAY MAJOR MOVES TO HELP PEOPLE CARE FOR THEMSELVES. TO BE ABLE TO COOK YOUR OWN MEAL BECAUSE YOU HAVE UTENSILS THAT YOUR ARTHRITIC HAND CAN HOLD. AND EVERY TIME I MEET A CHILD THROUGH AN ANOMALY AT BIRTH OR THROUGH AN INJURY OR AN ILLNESS, I’M ALWAYS REMINDED THAT THEIR WORK IS PLAY AND MY JOB IS TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE A LOT OF FUN. AND I WOULD NEVER BE SO BOLD OR STUPID AS TO POINT TO A CHILD, RIDICULE ANY PERSON OF ALL ABILITY, AND SAY THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU, OR YOU’RE HANDICAPPED OR YOU’RE DISABLED. BY DESIGN WE GIVE PEOPLE THE CHOICES SO THAT THEY CAN HAVE CONTROL OVER THE QUALITY OF THEIR LIFE. I CAN THINK OF NOTHING TO BE MORE PROUD. THESE ARE HOSPITAL ENVIRONMENTS THAT WE MAKE FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES SO THEY CAN RELEARN THE SKILLS THAT THEY LOST TO THOSE ILLNESSES AND INJURIES. WHERE WE NORMALIZE HEALING IN A CONSUMER WORLD. BUT AS I HINTED, THE TOUGHEST JOB I HAD TO DATE IS WORKING WITH OUR WOUNDED WARRIORS ALL OVER THE WORLD. MY WORK WITH NATO HAS TAUGHT ME ONE THING: THE HUMAN SPIRIT NEVER DIES. AND EVEN THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN MOST INJURED TODAY HAVE OPPORTUNITIES LIKE NEVER BEFORE. IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY THIS MARINE HAS TWO TOOLS THAT MY GRANDFATHER DIDN’T HAVE WHEN HE WAS INJURED IN WORLD WAR I. WITH THE MOBILES, WITH THE COMPUTERS, WITH THE TECHNOLOGY, WE CAN COMBINE SOFT TECH SOLUTIONS SO THAT QUALITY OF LIFE CAN BE RETURNED NO MATTER HOW HARD THE CHALLENGE. IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MR. LOWE, YOU KNOW THAT HE IS THE FATHER OF STREAMLINING AND HE LOVED TRAINS. MORE THAN SHELDON COOPER, HE LOVED TRAINS. I’M VERY FOND OF TRAINS ESPECIALLY WHEN I TRAVEL ON THEM, BUT I NEVER THOUGHT OF MYSELF HAVING DESIGNED TRAINS. HE’S PROBABLY LAUGHING AT ME NOW BECAUSE HE SAID I TOLD YOU WOULD DO TRAINS. AND NOW I DO TRAINS. BUT IN BEING HIRED TO DO TRAINS, I HAD ONE CAVEAT. MY CLIENTELE WOULD BE THE FORGOTTEN. WE HAVE TRIED ALL OVER THE WORLD TO DESIGN FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED THE US THE MOST, TO RECOGNIZE WITHOUT DESIGN IN THEIR LIVES AS IT IS IN ALL OF OUR LIVES, THERE WAS NO HOPE FOR THEIR SUCCESS OR HAPPINESS. AND SO I DO TRAINS AND LOTS OF TRAINS. AND IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A COMPLETE MENTAL BREAKDOWN, DO CIVIL ENGINEERING. [LAUGHTER] I HAVE ONE RESPONSE IN THAT ARENA AND THAT IS WE NEED MORE ESTROGEN. [LAUGHTER] I PROMISED JEREMY I WOULD BEHAVE. [LAUGHTER] AS A BABY BOOMER, I’M NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT IS TAKING TO HEART THE COMMAND THAT WE GIVE PEOPLE AN OPPORTUNITY TO AGE IN PLACE. THAT DOESN’T MEAN BECOME STATUTES IN OUR HOME. BUT IT RECOGNIZES THE GOAL OF GIVING PEOPLE A CASA, A NEST TO CALL THEIR OWN, AND ONE THAT THEY CAN MAINTAIN AND MANAGE FOR THE ENTIRETY OF THEIR LIFE. WE DON’T HAVE THAT YET TODAY. AND WE’RE STILL A LONG WAY OFF. BUT WHAT WE SEE HERE AT RIT AND INTERIOR DESIGN AND SUSTAINABILITY AND IN ALL OF THE WORK THAT WE’RE DOING IN TECHNOLOGY, IT GIVES US HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. SO THAT WE CAN SIMPLY LIVE AS WE WISH TO. I’VE JUST COMPLETED A TEN-YEAR STUDY IN CHINA WHERE I WENT TO VILLAGES TO SEE HOW ELDERS WERE BEING TREATED. AND WHAT OF COURSE WE HAD TO REPORT, SORRY, THAT WAS ME. WHAT WE HAD TO REPORT WAS SADLY WE HAVE PEOPLE, THIS WOMAN OF 94 CARING FOR CHILDREN WHO CAN’T CARE FOR THEMSELVES. AND SO ONCE AGAIN USING AGE AS A MARKER FOR ANY WORK SIMPLY MAKES NO SENSE. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT LIFE SPAN DESIGN AND INNOVATION FOR ALL OF OUR DAYS. AND WE HAVE TO PRAY FOR THE ELDERS OF CHINA BECAUSE WHAT I SAW, OF COURSE THE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T WANT PUBLISHED. BUT JUST AS IT IS WITH LITTLE GIRL BABIES, THEY ARE BEING KILLED WITH THEIR GRANDPARENTS ON THE BASIS OF NOT ENOUGH MEANS FOR CARE. AND SO WE LOOK TO A FUTURE WITH THE HOPE THAT ALL OVER THE WORLD WE’LL RECOGNIZE WITH TECHNOLOGY THE OPPORTUNITIES WE ALL SHARE. THE DIGITAL DIVIDE IS SOMETHING THAT I WORK WITH QUITE A BIT, AS WELL. I’M OFTEN REMINDED WHEN I’M ON CAMPUS AT GOOGLE THAT I’M THE OLDEST PERSON THERE AND THE STUDENTS SIMPLY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY I WOULD BE THERE. BUT IF WE DON’T GET THIS RIGHT, IF WE DON’T GET A DIGITAL RESPONSE FOR ALL AGES AND ALL ABILITIES WE WILL HAVE FAILED. SO NOW WE’RE WORKING WITH ALL SORTS OF NON-INVASIVE MAINTENANCE FOR HEALTH, IDEAS, AND YES, I’M CHIPPED. I’M CHIPPED BECAUSE I TRAVEL ALL OVER THE WORLD AND STILL OUR GOVERNMENT WANTS TO FIND ME. SO IF IN FACT I GO MISSING THEY STAND A BETTER CHANCE. BUT THE BIG SURPRISE FOR ME AND MY GREATEST GRATITUDE PRESIDENT MUNSON IS THE FACT THAT HERE I LEARNED TO SPEAK UP. HERE I LEARNED TO QUESTION EVERYTHING. AND HERE I LEARNED THAT ONE PERSON HAS THE CAPACITY TO CHANGE THE WORLD. I’M KNOWN AS AN AMBASSADOR OF DESIGN. AND I’M HAPPY ABOUT THAT. BUT THE MORE I THINK ABOUT IT, AND IT WON’T BE ME, I THINK WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO’S A DESIGNER. [APPLAUSE] I LOVE MY LAWYER. HE’S ABOUT TO FAINT IN NEW YORK CITY. BUT WE NEED FEWER LAWYERS IN THE CONGRESS. AND MORE INNOVATORS. I WANT A WORLD SOMEDAY WHERE THE JOY THAT COMES WITH THE BIRTH OF A CHILD IS THE SAME LEVEL OF HAPPINESS THAT WE CAN BE ENVELOPED IN IN OUR LAST MOMENTS OF LIFE. AND SADLY WE HAVE A POLARITY THAT IS UNSPEAKABLE. IN OUR FINAL MOMENTS WE ARE SPENDING 90% OF OUR RESOURCE TO DIE, AND NOT TO DIE WELL. THE ATROCITY OF WAR STILL HAUNTS US. AND EVEN THOUGH WE’RE BEING TOLD THERE IS NO GLOBAL WARMING, I’M AN AL GORE GIRL AND I CAN PROMISE YOU I’M AS WORRIED FOR THE POLAR BEARS AS I AM FOR OURSELVES. SO LET’S HOLD HANDS AND CROSS THE STREET TOGETHER AND TAKE CARE TO BE KIND. BUT DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK WHY NOT. GOD BLESS US ALL.

[APPLAUSE]


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