Rabia Razzaq G’23, a multidisciplinary designer and graduate student at the College of Visual and Performing Arts, won the 2022 Intelligence++ Showcase competition, held at the Whitman School of Management on April 26.
The interdisciplinary competition – which encourages design and business students to imagine and create products, devices and services for people with disabilities – is the culmination of a two-semester course on inclusive entrepreneurship and design taught by Professor Don Carr of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
The Inclusive Design elective course is open to undergraduate and graduate students at the University, including students with intellectual disabilities from InclusiveU, a program of the Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education, which is part of the School of Education’s Center on Disability and Inclusion.
The course and competition is supported by Lawrence B. Taishoff, Assistant Professor of Inclusive Education and Executive Director of the Taishoff Center Beth Myers and Syracuse Libraries Executive Director Blackstone LaunchPad and faculty member Whitman Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE ) Linda Dickerson-Hartsock. Submissions for the demo contest also came from students of Dickerson-Hartsock’s LaunchPad business development course.
Razzaq’s winning proposition – Tailored-Relief – is a wearable device for people with anxiety that includes cooling pads, fidget devices and other built-in technologies to help calm the wearer.
Second place went to Cata Baumgart for Serene Senses, an app that allows users and their friends to create personalized messages based on sound, image and vibration when users feel overwhelmed. Xinyi Wang placed third with Food AI, an interactive cooker to guide cooking, help follow recipe steps, give heat warnings and more.
The judges for the 2022 contest were:
- Doug Cramer ’87, director of CANY Holdings, LLC, managing member of Journey’s End Partners and managing director of Alternative Access Capital;
- Lori Jacobs ’92, visual artist, set designer and industrial/product designer working in the innovative footwear and pet products industries;
- Chris Kennedy McKelvy, advisor to Team One Sports, an esports company based in Sao Palo, Brazil, and board member of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation;
- Belle Martorano G’19, change management and leadership consultant, founder of Rilind Consulting and Blackstone LaunchPad Entrepreneur in Residence; and
- Gianfranco Zaccai ’70, H’09, co-founder of innovative design company EPAM Continuum and founder of Intelligence++, the Zaccai Foundation for Augmented Intelligence, which seeks to develop innovations to enable and empower people with an intellectual disability. The contest program and prizes are funded by Zaccai and his foundation.
Other pitches the judges weighed were a device to help correct poor gait, especially in people with disabilities (Bearett Tarris ’21, G’22, Natural Gait); a crowdsourcing platform to help teachers plan lessons and tackle burnout (Travis Ghirdharie G’22, Many Hands); a module that brings a natural framework indoors to combat stress (Ting Kang ’20, G’22, The Relaxation Pod); an app to verify truly inclusive and universally designed environments (Riley Blumenthal ’23 and Jessica Mitchell ’23, Inclusive Environments); media support for creative storytelling (Jack Rose ’24, Blade Point Media); and an app that allows users to track tasks (Aidan Mickleburgh ’22, G’23, Abridgd).