Written by Julie Taylor
Thankfully I only needed to rely on a wheelchair and cane for a short while and I am upset for all those people who are surrounded daily by medical and hospitally-looking ‘sensible’ high beds, bath chairs, canes, wheelchairs and prostheses. Why does everything have to be so ugly? It somehow reminds me of the Puritans wearing no-nonsense plain clothing and outlawing make up.
Design Meets Disability by Graham Pullin will change your emotional response to designing for disability forever, as you discover that designs can celebrate a medical necessity, as in elegant and fashionable eyewear from Cutler and Gross, or openly express functionality, as in the carbon fiber running legs sported by Aimee Mullins.
Graham Pullin creates this change with chapters that are rich with examples and luscious images, combining deep thinking with a light touch. In the second half of the book he presents us with a fascinating collection of his favorite designers, leaving us yearning for the meetings between design and disability that such rich talent might generate, given the opportunity.
Let’s use our brilliant designers – and our imaginations – and bring beauty to the world of disability aids in the same way that the stigma of having to wear ugly eyeglasses has now become a fashion statement. It’s not unknown for people with normal vision to put clear glass in a pair of fabulous frames to finish off a ‘certain look’. Read our own Marilyn Carr-Harris’s article about design and disability CLICK HERE – I will bring you a photograph (soon) of her own gorgeous pink cane with black filigree design on the handle!