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steven landau

new york, ny, United States

Design instructor

Member since September 08, 2008

  • Eyewitness unreliability


    In response to thesis topics, posted by Emily Kim,
    in the thread Bibliography


    Wow, Emily, so interesting. So you want to become a police officer after graduating from design school...that will be a unique combination of skills and may provide you with important insights in an area where design has not had very much impact. In looking over your comments, I personally feel that you may have problems trying to reduce police suicide through product design, because people in that position are unlikely to use the thing that you make. If they are so desperate that they want to kill themselves, it's hard to imagine them pausing long enough to use your product....

    On the other hand, I am very intrigued about the use of product design to help people communicate in a therapeutic or legal setting about things that are hard to verbalize, especially for kids. I know that there are big problems with eye-witness accounts of crimes; apparently, memory is highly inaccurate, and in a courtroom, where eyewitness testimony is very persuasive to juries, the need to be able to sort through someone's memories to determine what is reliable and what is not is of crucial importance. Innocent people have been executed because of faulty eye-witness accounts. Maybe there should be a product that would permit a child witness to create a picture that more accurately reflects what really happened than if you ask him or her a lot of leading questions, in which case you usually can get them to say whatever you want them to. While this would not be a mass-market product, but rather something very specialized, it would have the potential of making an important contribution to improving outcomes in criminal cases. Also, I'll bet there are plenty of non-profit groups who focus on the rights of the accused, who would be interested in working with you on a project like this.

    Hope this helps, let's talk more in class on Monday. steven

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My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design