I went to the Reasons to be Creative Conference last week, and was motivated and inspired by some crazy, wonderful designers and developers. There were speakers at the conference who were coders, installation artists, game developers..¬† so some of the projects were a little over my head – being primarily a flat, 2D print designer. Their work seems close to magical to me when I don’t know how in the world they created it — but being amazed is an awesome, inspiring feeling. I want to be amazed every day.


The first speaker of the first day was Zach Lieberman – an artist and teacher at Parson’s. He shared a project he worked on with Tempt1 (Tony) – a graffiti artist who developed ALS in 2003 and is almost completely paralyzed. Zach created the eyewriter which tracks eye movement and allows ALS patients to draw with their eyes! See the video.

Tempt’s drawings were projected onto buildings and the feed was brought back into the hospital room for Tempt to see. He typed that it was a breath of fresh air to be able to create something after 7 years…

Zach wanted to make this technology affordable and this headset costs $50 and can be hooked up to a computer. He made the software free as well. Before this development, Tempt used a very limited (and expensive) typing mechanism that he controlled with his eyes. Instead of waiting for the government to decide to invest money into researching this, an artist created a solution.

I don’t even know what to say about all this – I’m just inspired. Inspired to keep creating while I can, inspired to make things to help people appreciate their lives and possibly get involved to do some life-changing work. Maybe I’ll take a programming class and create unimaginable stuff. I know I’ll always keep taking classes and going to events like this to be involved in a creative community and learn from others who are doing unbelievable things.


Furthermore, I just found a kickstarter project where they raised money for Tempt to pay for his hospital bills. He created a whole set of new artwork in the process and a robotic arm drew his designs. If you haven’t heard of kickstarter yet, check out their project here and definitely browse some of the other amazing things that people are getting started.

Hope this project added a little inspiration to your day.
~ Cindy


Images from Zach Lieberman’s website.

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One Response to Designing for Change – the amazing Eyewriter

  1. Lauren says:

    What a great entry! An inspirational story! You inspire me everyday!

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