And so he continues: the last time I saw him he had built a humane rabbit trap for his garden and modified his TV remote control so it was easier to change channels with his somewhat arthritic fingers (one of his fingers he accidently cut into twice with his circular saw; his journey hasn’t been without injury!).
More recently, at the ripe age of 93 he wrote to Kindle with a suggestion to adapt its existing product for musicians, replacing traditional sheet music with their electronic device. The device would turn the page automatically (or at the touch of a button). So far he has yet to receive a response (according to my step-brother, a composer, there are apps and software on the market already that do this, but not devices).
You may be wondering what have I learnt or been reminded of from my grandad’s letter? Well, as it happens quite a few things:
• As a young child of eight or nine I was given a Black and Decker workbench, a power drill and a hammer: we would play with pieces of wood, screwing, gluing and nailing them together to form anything our imagination allowed. This experience probably leads to my absolute belief that instilling creativity at a young age is incredibly important – it enables you to learn about how to take risks, learn from prototyping and build a resilience to failure.
• As a society we are so lucky with everything we have around us – I had never before thought about what a world without DIY shops (I personally LOVE DIY shops!)
• Refurbishing existing ‘things’ is good for the pocket and the environment – so let’s play and hack more…
So, in the spirit of ‘hacking things better’ (something we LOVE at Sense Worldwide) I am going to send my Grandad some Sugru – I’ll keep you updated on what marvellous things he hacks next!
Image credits: My Grandad and http://zackhample.mlblogs.com/2010/10/29/converting-old-35mm-slides/ / http://www.estatevaults.com/lm/
Twitter: @SenseWorldwide / @lauramelissawil