Designing Tech at 90

At 90, Barbara Beskind, after a career in the military and years of design work from toys to inflatable devices that help children with balance issues, is still going strong – and designing away. Ms. Beskind is currently working on solutions that improve the quality of life for older adults.

Barbara Beskind. Photo: Nicolas Zurcher, courtesy of IDEO; found via NPR.

Photo: Nicolas Zurcher, courtesy of IDEO; found via NPR.

For Ms. Beskind, being a designer is a boon because “[i]t makes aging more tolerable, more enjoyable… I enjoy the age I’m in. I think it’s one of the best chapters of my life,” says she in an NPR interview by Laura Sydell.




Not Your Grandmother’s Crochet

For handy design lovers yarning(!) for something new to do: check out the crochet patterns by Molla Mills. And not just another new take on granny squares!

Molla Mills

Molla Mills.

Molla Mills / Nemo Kustannus

Molla Mills / Nemo Kustanus.

She was into punk in her teenage years, and not afraid to show it, which raised a quite few eyebrows in her small home town at the time. Even though punk is behind her now, she’s still inked, delightfully unapologetic and very much down to earth. (Details from a feature in Helsingin Sanomat.) And she’s committed: Molla is planning to produce a whole series of crochet pattern books with the same fresh take.

(Virkkuri crochet book only in Finnish for now, with an English translation on the way. 2nd book in her series [on shapes and surfaces] is aimed at men. Also Virkkuri Tumblr blog.)

Because when you find your thing, you might just get swept away by it.

Latinas Are Finding Their Way into Software Dev

The website Nearshore Americas presents three profiles of women who work in software design and computer engineering in Latin America.

Teresa Muñoz set out to enter video game design despite no previous experience. Her persistence paid off: she worked her way up to her current position as Q/A Lead and Associate Producer for a video game design firm in Bogota, Columbia. She advises prospective female video game designers thus:

“You have to know the basics of programming, but don’t have to be an expert. At college they don’t teach you how to program video games, they just teach you how to code. You don’t have to be a great programmer to get in – don’t let that stop you. You just have to have the skills to become great.”

Haymara Palma, who currently works as a lead programmer and specialist with Flash and Unity 3D technology, says this:

“It’s true that the majority of this field is handled by men, but in the last few years, women are getting stronger every day. It’s a very interesting and fun field. Once in, you will never want to get out.”

Because your strengths are what matters.