Fashion meets discretion

Graham Cutler, Tony Gross, Alain Mikli, Sam Hecht Ross Lovegrove, Nic Roope, Aimee Mullins, Alexander McQueen Hugh Herr, and Jacques Monestier spectacles and eyewear, hearing aids and HearWear pink plastic legs and carved wooden legs, split hooks and golden hands a memorable Cutler and Gross advertisement from the early 1990s a memorable Cutler and Gross advertisement from the early 1990s

Diverse chairs

In contrast to this convergence in wheelchair design, the evolution of the chair continues to generate increasing diversity. The Milan furniture fair and the NeoCon world's trade fair in Chicago are among the events at which contemporary furniture is exhibited and celebrated. Each year, designers, manufacturers, retailers, journalists, and an interested public converge on Milan to see the launch of new designs for seating and lighting. While some new chairs each year depend on advances in...

Thanks

It is only in writing these acknowledgments of course, that I realize quite how many people have been involved and the considerable risk of leaving out someone really important by mistake. First of all, thank you to the designers who took part in the discourses, giving their time and thoughts so generously Tomoko Azumi, Michael Marriott, Martin Bone, Huw Morgan, Andy Stevens, Crispin Jones, Andrew Cook, Adam Thorpe, and Joe Hunter. For other conversations, thank you to Aimee Mullins, Alan...

Legwear

A striking and memorable image of a different attitude to prosthetics is that of the athlete, model, and actress Aimee Mullins, seen here wearing her carbon fiber running legs, tracksuit bottoms, and nothing else. It is taken from the cover of the fashion magazine Dazed & Confused, an edition guest edited by fashion designer Alexander McQueen around a theme of fashion and disability, titled Fashion-able 10 I have always liked this photograph for walking what I saw as a fine line between...

Visual impairment and audiophilia

It is possible to become overwhelmed by issues of ability and accessibility to the exclusion of all others. This can risk missing resonances that have less to do with need than with personal taste. Audiobooks may have been first introduced as books on tape for visually impaired people, yet now represent an even larger mainstream market.8 Many people who can read printed books enjoy the alternative experience of hearing a book read to them. The qualities of the reading are important, as they are...

Blind design

Interior View 14, Blind Design than in publications or products specifically for people who read braille, it inevitably becomes part of the visual and tactile experience of sighted people a visible, if illegible, part of their environment. We need designers to explore new visual languages that might emerge when braille is combined with visual information and even decoration. Seeing this as a problem to be solved is probably not the best frame of mind with which to engage with it. Here are the...

Disabled with a capital D disability with a little d

Just as our diverse abilities are recognized, so diversity should be acknowledged within any disability, whereas people with the same disability are still often stereotyped as a homogeneous group. Tyler says that even the RNIB is moving away from a philosophy of design for all, and becoming more considered about when to advocate a single universal solution for all visually impaired people and when to advocate a choice between complementary alternatives. When IDEO was researching a project with...

Exploring meets solving

Marcel Breuer, Shin Azumi, Tomoko Azumi, Jasper Morrison David Constantine, Shelley Fox, Li Edelkoort, and Bodo Sperlein Bath chairs and Gouty chairs, chairs and wheelchairs inspired by bicycles chairs from Milan, chairs from Japan and wheelchairs from Cambodia Blind design and braille for the sighted chairs designed by a diversity of international designers for the nextmaruni collection

Meetings with designers

Having considered design and disability broadly, the book ends with a series of more detailed meetings discussion of the contributions that leading designers might make, and discourses with individual designers about particular briefs. For those in medical design, these meetings may offer a glimpse of how diverse design culture is in its approaches and values, and therefore how much more varied the roles and contributions of designers could be. For designers, the ways in which fellow designers...

Contextual disability

This book is not seeking to redefine disability, but a brief look at some of the existing definitions is appropriate. The WHO's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) recognizes disability as a complex interaction between the features of a person's body and the features of the environment and society in which that person lives.2 It makes a distinction between an impairment a problem in a body function or structure an activity limitation a difficulty...

Hear Wear

If anything, you might expect hearing aids to be less challenging than glasses they don't obscure the face there are strong traditions of ear adornment and jewelry in most cultures and we all reach for earphones and headphones from time to time. But somehow, rather than adopting a diversity of design approaches, the hearing technology industry has remained conservative, perhaps because it is preoccupied with its perpetual technological development. That is why RNID and Blueprint, the...

Supersafe products for blind people

And here on the BlindKiss site I find my best example of critical design applied to disability. New supersafe products from RNIB features parodies of well-meaning but patronizing aids to daily living intended to protect blind people from others and themselves. Among the blunted knives and forks and high-visibility clothing are these accessories that manage to parody visually impaired people's assumed sensory abilities and fashion sense Trendy nose pegs. The world is a smelly place, and, as we...

Provocative meets sensitive

Marc Quinn, Alison Lapper, Freddie Robins, Catherine Long, Mat Fraser Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby, Kelly Dobson Crispin Jones, and Damon Rose Venus ie Milo and Hand of God meat eating products and socially responsible phones Scream Body and BlindKiss, The Electric Shock Mobile and new supersafe products Alison Lapper Pregnant by Marc Quinn on Trafalgar Square's vacant plinth Alison Lapper Pregnant by Marc Quinn on Trafalgar Square's vacant plinth

Visual impairment and discretion

For visually impaired people who cannot read the dial of a wristwatch, special watches are available. Some are tactile, analogue watches with hands that are robust enough for the wearer to feel their position, otherwise protected from damage by a folding cover. These are usually old-fashioned in appearance and poorly visually designed. Others are electronic talking watches that use a speech synthesizer to speak the time, and tend to have the appearance of cheap digital watches. Visually...

Utopia and dystopia

In the Energy Gallery at London's Science Museum, among numerous interactive exhibits that examine the future of energy production, Dunne amp Raby created a simple, static triptych depicting a world employing new sources of bioenergy electric energy derived from living matter, in this case not plants, but animals. At first glance the beautiful photography implies a utopian vision. On closer inspection, however, the scenes are more disturbing. A little girl leaves for school with her lunch box....

Feel dont think

The Spyfish STV submarine telepresence vehicle was a miniature remote-controlled submarine, a remotely operated vehicle ROV . The dream of entrepreneur Nigel Jagger, Spyfish was the ROV reinvented as a leisure activity for yacht owners rather than a scientific tool for marine researchers. Jagger's company H2Eye developed a number of technical innovations to make this feasible IDEO's role was to work with them to create a compelling user experience around this technology. Professional ROV pilots...

Without thought

The themes of simplicity and accessibility recombine again in a piece that defines a cutting edge of design and also suggests provocative new directions for inclusive design. A wall-mounted CD player, designed by Naoto Fukasawa and manufactured by Muji, was not conceived to be accessible in the conventional sense, but nonetheless is a highly inclusive product. The designer's philosophy was to produce a product that could be used without thought a theme that Fukasawa has explored in workshops...