Thursday, November 30, 2006

Michael Graves and universal design

Discussing about Universal Design with my research group, Amanda showed us the fascinating work of Michael Graves featured in Metropolis magazine.

"People who become disabled have to radically redesign their outlook about the physical world," Graves says, remembering the first days after he was out of danger and learning to live with paralysis. "They redesign their sense of privacy and their sense of independence. Yet in the products they have to use, design has abandoned them."

The following is a very nice cane-bag combo, cane that can be hidden at any time.

This model folds into a built-in padded nylon bag. The latter was developed after Peschel and his team noticed that people often like to keep folding canes out of sight in a bag or purse. Getting it manufactured, however, was tricky: the designers ultimately had to find one factory to make the bags, then a second to assemble the cane into it.—M.C.
Courtesy Michael Graves Design Group

Shower Heads
Graves Design developed two handheld shower-spray products, both in white injection-molded plastic with blue overmolded rubber grips. The smaller one was designed to fit in the palm of the hand; people with arthritis or dexterity problems can comfortably use it without a tight grip. A swivel connector at the base allows the unit to spin without twisting the attached hose (it also fits into standard shower holders). —M.C.
Joe Andris/courtesy Michael Graves Design Group

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