Just returned from Seattle, where I spent an incredible few days with members of the city’s AIGA chapter exploring ideas about how to empower the people of Seattle to improve their health and wellness. As my headline implies - we were on the move, and had very little sleep!
I’m incredibly grateful to the designers and community health experts who volunteered their time to participate in the Design for Good workshop. I’m also extremely thankful that so many people on the streets were willing to stop and share their stories as we toured the city’s different neighborhoods.
One such person was 86 year old Tina, who I met at the top of Kerry Park in Queen Anne. Tina and I talked for several minutes about the weather, and eventually - what types of things she does in a typical day to help manage her health. She was in great shape, and seemed to be eating well and staying active. (We met at the top of a pretty steep hill!) But what distressed me was that Tina admitted to feeling a bit like she’s disappearing from the world. She can no longer do everything she used to able to do, and is beginning to feel more alone and invisible to those around her.
After we parted ways, I thought a lot about Tina. I’ve seen some amazing ideas for how to encourage healthier lifestyles in the New York and Seattle AIGA Design for Good workshops. (And can’t wait until Birmingham!) The most exciting to me, however, were the “social” solutions that encouraged people to approach activities - like grocery shopping, preparing foods and exercising - with a group. When people have the support and encouragement of others, it not only reinforces those more “physical” health habits we all want to maintain - but also improves our mental health and emotional well-being.
I hope Tina finds a circle of friends she can engage with more regularly. And I hope everyone who participated in the AIGA Design for Good workshop in Seattle found it to be as thought provoking as I did!