Open Style Lab Project
DESIGN FOR THE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY
Latricia, Chuyi, Jane, Jonathan, Taylor
is a 28-year-old from New York City with Cerebral Palsy. He has been disabled since birth, using both a manual wheelchair (primary use) and crutches (secondary use) for mobility. Pete enjoys dancing and rock climbing. His active lifestyle in combination with his wheelchair has caused challenges when it comes to clothing and functionality. In particular, when it rains or snows, he struggles to protect himself during his commute. The weather-resistant clothing available often does not function well with his wheelchair or his personal style. While most people are able to use an umbrella instead, Pete does not have a hand to spare and the change in weather poses a storage issue as well. The wheelchair and the crutches don't often provide a sufficient and accessible amount of storage. Similarly, it can be difficult for him too and clothing that can stand up to the wear and tear of the wheelchair and crutches but is still fashionable.
After our research and our first meeting with Pete, we began framing our design requirements and determining his preferred aesthetic. We discussed what issues Pete faces in his daily life as well as what changes are most important to him. Initially, our priorities were:
In order to create a useful solution for Pete, it was important for us to consider not only the actual product but the context of our design. This process consisted of spending a day with Pete and determining pressure points in his daily commute. After mapping Pete’s journey and as our process unfolded we were able to get an even clearer picture of our design requirements.