A blog about universal and accessible design

Friday, March 19, 2010

fun ideas for a sunny friday

I always feel a bit touchy around the many "experimental design for the disabled" sites/blog posts/articles you see around.. but these wheelchair designs, selected by mainstream design site Switched, are pretty fun:

A pink-cushioned bent plywood armchair in the style of the Eames Chair, fitted with matching tires and an ottoman, would be hell on the balance but makes a clear (intended) comment about the difference between brand-name design icons and designs for assistive technologies.

Roll.Charge.Light.Protect offers the idea of wheelchair spokes that light up (charged by the wheels, of course) for safer night wheeling. Definitely reminiscent of the many light-up gizmos commuter cyclists choose for helmet, seat, clothes and fenders.

Switched also did a post of design prototypes for gadgets for visually impaired users - interesting that all but one are for computerized readers/sensors of some kind. Designers often fall into the trap of assuming all assistive devices are extremely high-tech, expensive specialty items, and overlook the everyday technologies everyone uses - wonder what potential any of these have to be integrated into mass-market products, as current screen-readers are - on the iPad, for example..

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