Design Meets Disability

Graham Pullin,

Published by MIT Press (MA) April 2009, 2009
ISBN 10: 0262162555 / ISBN 13: 9780262162555
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Eyeglasses have been transformed from medical necessity to fashionaccessory. This revolution has come about through embracing the design culture ofthe fashion industry. Why shouldn't design sensibilities also be applied to hearingaids, prosthetic limbs, and communication aids? In return, disability can provokeradical new directions in mainstream design. Charles and Ray Eames's iconicfurniture was inspired by a molded plywood leg splint that they designed for injuredand disabled servicemen. Designers today could be similarly inspired by disability.In Design Meets Disability, Graham Pullin shows us how design and disability caninspire each other. In the Eameses' work there was a healthy tension betweencut-to-the-chase problem solving and more playful explorations. Pullin offersexamples of how design can meet disability today. Why, he asks, shouldn't hearingaids be as fashionable as eyewear? What new forms of braille signage mightproliferate if designers kept both sighted and visually impaired people in mind? Cansimple designs avoid the need for complicated accessibility features? Can suchemerging design methods as 'experience prototyping' and 'criticaldesign' complement clinical trials? Pullin also presents a series of interviewswith leading designers about specific disability design projects, includingstepstools for people with restricted growth, prosthetic legs (and whether they canbe both honest and beautifully designed), and text-to-speech technology with tone ofvoice. When design meets disability, the diversity of complementary, evencontradictory, approaches can enrich each field.Graham Pullin is a lecturer inInteractive Media Design at the University of Dundee. He has worked as a seniordesigner at IDEO, one of the world's leading design consultancies, and at the BathInstitute of Medical Engineering, a prominent rehabilitation engineering center inthe United Kingdom. He has received international design awards for design fordisability and for mainstream products. How design for disabled people and mainstream design could inspire, provoke, and radically change each other. Bookseller Inventory #

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Eyeglasses have been transformed from medical necessity to fashion accessory. This revolution has come about through embracing the design culture of the fashion industry. Why shouldn't design sensibilities also be applied to hearing aids, prosthetic limbs, and communication aids? In return, disability can provoke radical new directions in mainstream design. Charles and Ray Eames's iconic furniture was inspired by a molded plywood leg splint that they designed for injured and disabled servicemen. Designers today could be similarly inspired by disability. In Design Meets Disability, Graham Pullin shows us how design and disability can inspire each other. In the Eameses' work there was a healthy tension between cut-to-the-chase problem solving and more playful explorations. Pullin offers examples of how design can meet disability today. Why, he asks, shouldn't hearing aids be as fashionable as eyewear? What new forms of braille signage might proliferate if designers kept both sighted and visually impaired people in mind? Can simple designs avoid the need for complicated accessibility features? Can such emerging design methods as "experience prototyping" and "critical design" complement clinical trials? Pullin also presents a series of interviews with leading designers about specific disability design projects, including stepstools for people with restricted growth, prosthetic legs (and whether they can be both honest and beautifully designed), and text-to-speech technology with tone of voice. When design meets disability, the diversity of complementary, even contradictory, approaches can enrich each field.

About the Author: Graham Pullin is a lecturer in Interactive Media Design at the University of Dundee. He has worked as a senior designer at IDEO, one of the world's leading design consultancies, and at the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, a prominent rehabilitation engineering center in the United Kingdom. He has received international design awards for design for disability and for mainstream products.

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Title: Design Meets Disability
Publisher: MIT Press (MA) April 2009
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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