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Industrial design students at Virginia Tech have been working with local senior citizens to come up with solutions to make everyday tasks a little easier to do.
On Friday, those teams demonstrated their final prototypes to WDBJ7.
“I thought that was a really neat idea,” said Warm Hearth Village Resident Mike Bircher. “It was just interesting to work with the students and see them being able to take those challenges the residents have and come up with design solutions to meet those challenges.”
The students helped to find those solutions for people like Bircher.
“They look at aging in place as an issue and go out and meet with seniors, residents at Warm Hearth and really try and understand how they live,” said Akshay Sharma, an instructor overseeing the students.
Sharma said they have been partnering up with SFCS Architects in Roanoke for about 10 years now to educate students on the importance of focusing on senior citizens and the continually aging Baby Boomers.
“What we really try to teach them here is don’t ever start with a solution,” Sharma said. “You have to really understand why you are answering a question and why is it important to ask that question in the first place.”