More effects of the economy on design: According to the Wall Street Journal, "appliance manufacturers are taking the long view and retooling their offerings for aging baby boomers."
What does this mean? It means manufacturers like General Electric, Whirlpool, Siemens and others are focusing on people who might still have money in a few years, and most of those people are older-approaching-elderly.
"This population is far more demanding and will refocus designers" on individual consumers, says Joe Coughlin, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab, which studies design and engineering for an aging population.
So, for all of you whippersnapper designers that want to get noticed by the big dogs: Start entering design competitions with a "senior-friendly" bent.
Video of GE employees themselves being "re-tooled" to design for older people: