Disability-friendly Aircraft seat design by PriestmanGoode folds up to fit a wheelchair in its place





Design Studio PriestmanGoode, along with Flying Disabled and SWS Certification, has unveiled Air 4 All, a system that aims to revolutionize and democratize air travel for passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) by enabling powered wheelchair users to remain in their own wheelchair for the entire air journey. The aircraft seat features a folding design that allows the seat to conceal itself within the backrest, while a rail and lock on the floor lets powered wheelchairs slide in and lock into place, fitting in the area where the seat once was. The launch coincides with the 35th anniversary of the Air Carriers Access Act, passed by US Congress in 1986 to guarantee that people with disabilities would receive consistent and nondiscriminatory treatment when traveling by air.

Designer: PriestmanGoode for Flying Disabled and SWS Certification

PriestmanGoode mentions that the Air 4 All system is designed to be compatible with a wide range of airline seats and powered wheelchair types. Currently, the system has been designed keeping the narrowbody 2+2 configuration in mind, giving flights the ability to convert front row seats and install a wheelchair guidance and locking system to the aircraft. This configuration allows for up to two wheelchairs per row to travel on a single flight. A consortium formed by PriestmanGoodde, Flying Disabled, and SWS Certification will also be working alongside Sunrise Medical to establish those powerchairs that would be fit to fly, as well as to retrofit and create new standards for powered wheelchairs, thus enabling passengers with the most challenging disabilities to travel. Chris Wood MBE, Founder of Flying Disabled mentioned that “Air 4 All is the first system that has been developed jointly by a design agency, a certification body and with input from the disabled community. With a leading global wheelchair manufacturer as well as the subsidiary of a major airline on board to develop the product, it’s a truly collaborative project.”

In a press release, Paul Priestman, designer and Chairman of PriestmanGoode said “Air 4 All will usher in a step-change in the industry and finally offer equal access to comfort, safety, and dignity for all passengers. The biggest barrier in the past has been that giving greater space to passengers in wheelchairs would have reduced seat count and resulted in a loss of revenue for airlines. Air 4 All solves this problem and has the added benefit of enabling airlines to retain the design of their cabin on every seat, ensuring brand consistency and a cohesive brand experience for all passengers. Air 4 All will facilitate a smoother boarding and disembarking experience for PRMs and will also significantly reduce the number of wheelchairs that are damaged through poor handling.”

The Air 4 All seating system forms just one of many innovations by PriestmanGoode in the aviation industry. In 2019, the studio unveiled an eco-friendly in-flight meal tray made from non-plastic elements that were “either partially edible, reusable, soluble or biodegradable.” The studio has also extensively worked with Airbus as strategic design and innovation partners for over 20 years.

The Air 4 All has been granted a patent, and the first prototype of the Air 4 All system is expected in December 2021. The patent covers all types of wheelchairs across every mode of public transport. The consortium is looking for partners across the transport sector to develop the system for other modes of travel like rail and metro.

Designer: PriestmanGoode for Flying Disabled and SWS Certification

Meet the hug cup, an evolution of the traditional tableware that allows you to easily hold your warm mug on those chilly days!

Hug Cup is an innovative reinterpretation of the traditional ceramic mug, replacing the conventional side handle with a central grip tunnel that serves as an internal handle for those living with joint pain or osteoarthritis.

Kitchen cups and mugs have been endlessly reimagined through design over the years. The cup’s simple form makes room for innovative design across industries, from ceramic to inclusive reinterpretations. Designer and ceramic artist, Eszter Imre offered their own take on the conventional ceramic mug, casting a center finger tunnel that makes holding the cup feel like you’re hugging warm tea and makes holding the mug easier for those who struggle with holding a mug’s traditional side handle.

Imre’s Hug Cup was created to drill home the designer’s belief that, “we give special attention to things we use in our everyday life. We like to have a personal relation to the objects we touch closely, such as a cup.”

The internal handle is a unique take on the mug’s traditional side handle, allowing users to securely grip Hug Cup while feeling the warmth of the liquid contents inside. Describing the mug in their own words, Imre states, “The whole cup creates an intimate tunnel through the cup itself for your finger, you may enjoy the heat of your beverage without burning your palm.”

While Hug Cup’s innovative handle is playful, it is also a solution-based design. For those living with joint pain, more specifically osteoarthritis, gripping mugs is a feat on its own. The central tunnel on Hug Cup allows users to hold onto the mug without altering the way their hands naturally fall. By simply sliding your thumb through the internal handle, half the battle is won. In creating Hug Cup, Imre notes, “It’s a fun, engaging object that wouldn’t make you feel like an outcast from society due to your special needs.”

Designer: Eszter Imre

This Dyson-inspired inclusive ticket machine adjusts its height, increasing convenience for its users!

Coinvenience is an inclusive ticket machine design that incorporates adaptive light fixtures and a hydraulic rail system that adjusts the machine’s height to meet users where they are.

We don’t know how inconvenient ticket machines can be until we have to use one. In parking garages, when we don’t pull up close enough, ticket machines are impossibly out of reach and the glare of sunlight makes reading the screen on outdoor ticket machines hopeless. With a few random clicks, all we can do is hope we pressed the right buttons to avoid a ticket. Making it more convenient for everyone’s use, Coinvenience is a new ticket machine designed to adapt to changing daylight and heights to meet people where they are.

Inspired by the Dyson Tower Fan’s ingenious bladeless build, Coinvenience encases its ticket machine inside of a multifunctional metal shroud. Addressing the conventional ticket machine’s lack of adaptive lighting fixtures, Coinvenience is wrapped in a metal shroud that blocks sun glare from obstructing the machine’s main control display.

Additionally, the metal shroud features a toplight that turns on at night to ensure the ticket machine and display panel are always visible no matter the lack of daylight. Another key feature of Coinvenience is its adjustable height. The same metal shroud that protects the machine from sunlight glare keeps a hydraulic rail system that moves the ticket machine on a vertical plane to reach different heights.

Primarily designed as a project for Loughborough University, Coinvenience was designed by Harry Rigler, Katy Finch, Reuben Williams, Omar Alqasem, and Bianca Tartaglia who each shared the same vision of creating a ticket machine with its users at the heart of it. Following the university’s guidelines that required the design to operate on a strictly coin-based payment system and feature a non-touchscreen display panel, the team of student designers looked to inclusivity to give Coinvenience the edge it needed.

Designers: Harry Rigler, Katy Finch, Reuben Williams, Omar Alqasem, and Bianca Tartaglia

This inflatable stretcher designed for emergency missions decreases the chance of panic-induced injuries!

The inflatable stretcher designed by Yu-Hsin Wu caters to impromptu emergency situations with the goal of lessening the effects of panic-induced injuries caused by medical personnel and/or the patient.

Life-threatening rescue situations can bring on panic in anyone, even first responders. When EMT personnel, nurses, and doctors are faced with life or death, the panic that comes with it can exacerbate preexisting injuries or worse yet, result in new injuries. In an attempt to avoid these sometimes fatal mistakes, Taiwan-based student designer Yu-Hsin Wu developed their own interpretation of an inflatable stretcher that comes equipped with medical tools and kits that ensure a successful rescue mission.

Wu’s inflatable stretcher features a similar build to everyday flotation devices like pool floats with additional fastening cushions that keep the patient in place. This inflatable stretcher also comes with integrated tools kits and medical accessories for rescuers to use on the patient before and during the ride to the hospital.

Since Wu’s inflatable stretcher comes with built-in rescue tools and clinical appliances, the medical aid given to the patient will feel intuitive and systematic. Ideal for high-traffic locations and community recreation zones, the inflatable stretcher comes packed with instructions so health professionals like lifeguards and on-site supervisors can use the stretcher with ease whenever necessary.

Lightweight and portable by design, the inflatable stretcher can be used across many different rescue circumstances, from water rescue missions to airlift emergency situations. Recognized by Golden Pin Design Awards for its innovation in the medical field, the inflatable stretcher already comes equipped with several medical tools for use during emergency crises, so no matter the location or form of transportation taken to the hospital, patients will receive preliminary care.

Summing up the design in their own words, Wu describes, “When an accident occurs, the rescuer’s emotions and strains may not be able to properly rescue. The inflatable stretcher integrates ambulance supplies and fixed equipment, it is expected that when an incident occurs, it can be quickly taken in the form of a bag, and calmly follow the instructions on the stretcher to correctly rescue.”

Designer: Yu-Hsin Wu

These portable medical devices are designed be a completely incognito health monitoring setup

Lunit is a collection of portable medical devices designed to be inconspicuous for comfortable use in public settings.

Portable medical devices are trusted by those of us with health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Recontextualizing the portable medical device to be more accessible and tactful, designers Dayeon Jang and Sungchae Park created Lunit, a collection of portable medical devices designed for use in public settings.

Lunit is comprised of four medical devices: an inhaler, blood glucose meter, insulin syringe, and a blood pressure oximeter. Jang and Park took on the portable medical device because they noticed a lack of ergonomics and comfort in the antiquated medical devices still on the market today. Each device of Lunit is inspired by the dark side of the moon to be inconspicuous at first glance, laced in smoky black and gray tones and wrapped in translucent coverings reminiscent of evening mist.

Lunit’s inhaler comes in the same familiar shape as traditional inhalers, but a tubelike build with rounded corners and edges gives it a smoother grip and more ergonomic handling shape. The translucent coverings on both ends of the inhaler also work to give it a more obscure look.

Jang and Park reinterpreted the blood glucose meter as a household product that could be taken on the go as easily as the inhaler. The insulin syringe also finds a bit of obscurity through translucent, foggy coverings that conceal the full function of the syringe, giving it a design as discreet as a pen’s. Finally, the blood pressure oximeter is small enough to fit inside your breast or back pocket and comes with all the functions of a traditional oximeter.

Designed to fit inside your pocket, portable medical devices like inhalers and insulin syringes allow users to take care of restricted airways and high blood sugar levels from anywhere, but sometimes the device’s aesthetic design is less user-friendly than their portability. In prioritizing a discreet look for Lunit, the designers hoped to dampen the staring eyes and stigma typically associated with portable medical devices.

Speaking to this, the designers suggest, “When using medical devices outside, users can [become] nervous or uncomfortable because they are worried about what people think about them or their actions. We want to solve [this] through design so that users with underlying diseases can no longer hide and take care of their health with confidence.”

Designers: Sungchae Park and Dayeon Jang

The ribbed, translucent covering of Lunit’s insulin syringe gives it inconspicuous concealment.

When covered, the insulting syringe from Lunit looks like a pen. 

The blood pressure oximeters are adorned with yellow dots similar to a starry night.

Small enough to fit into any pocket, Lunit’s oximeter can be taken anywhere.

The household blood glucose meter looks just like a portable radio.

Equipped with their own carrying case, each device from Lunit is designed to make taking care of yourself look as good as it feels.

This redesign of the kitchen sink was built on a scheme of chamfers and angled edges for one-handed users to use as leverage!

Moray is a statement kitchen sink built on a scheme of chamfers, angled surfaces, and curved edges designed for one-handed users like amputees, parents, and those with an injured upper limb to use as leverage when washing dishes.

Even those who claim to enjoy washing dishes put it off sometimes. And don’t hold your breath for the rest of us. While it can feel like a mindless chore for some of us–amputees, parents of young children, and people with injured upper limbs must consider their best approach when washing dishes because conventional sinks don’t cater to one-handed dishwashing techniques. Changing this, Natalia Baltazar, a Bay Area industrial design student developed a statement kitchen sink that’s designed to be universal.

Providing leverage for one-handed users, Moray is built with an assortment of chamfers, angled surfaces, and curved edges that hold dishes in one place while they’re getting washed. In refining her universal kitchen sink, Baltazar identified the obstacles faced in the kitchen for one-handed dishwashers and sought to solve them with Moray. Following a series of indirect observation and ideation periods, Baltazar learned that it’s less so about introducing new tools and more about redesigning the sink from the basin up.

Inspired by the traditional dual-basin sink, Moray features a deep soaking basin where dishes can soak before getting scrubbed down with a sponge and soap. Inspired by terrace farming, undulating chamfers, ridges, and angled edges are located beside the water basin where dishwashers can position the plates to remain in place while scrubbing them down. Baltazar even thought of a cavity in the design scheme where dishwashers can wedge sponges to wash utensils.

The curvilinear design of the dish racks are points of leverage for dishwashers and completely drain of water thanks to their rounded edges. The only difference between Moray and the traditional sink is the appearance. Users can even install Moray the same way they’d install a conventional kitchen sink, with the option of an overmount or under-mount installation.

Designer: Natalia Baltazar x Smll Design

Baltazar incorporated narrow cavities where users can wedge sponges to clean utensils.

Users would have the choice of an overmount or under-mount installation for Moray. 

Inspired by the traditional kitchen sink, Moray has a sink basin and an area with chamfers for leverage.

After finalizing the functionality of Moray, Baltazar conceptualized it in different acrylic colors.

Users place dishes on the right side of Moray to hold them in place while they get washed.

Following an involved ideation and research period, Baltazar settled on a final form for Moray.

Deciding against the incorporation of new tools, Baltazar went ahead and redesigned the kitchen sink from the basin up.

The post This redesign of the kitchen sink was built on a scheme of chamfers and angled edges for one-handed users to use as leverage! first appeared on Yanko Design.

James Dyson Award-winning chair was designed to hug people with autism to help relieve their stress

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

Created to help people on the autistic spectrum overcome stress, the Dyson Award-winning OTO chair uses a set of inflatable cushions to hug the person sitting in the chair. The cushions expand from the sides, emulating the feeling of being body-hugged and helping people with special needs overcome sensory overload.

The OTO chair was designed by Alexia Audrain, who learned more about the special needs of people on the autistic spectrum while she studied cabinetmaking and designing. “Noise, light, or physical contact can be a real challenge in everyday life [for people with autism]”, says Audrain. “To compensate for this sensory disorder, autistic people regularly feel the need to be held very tightly or to be hugged.” This form of deep pressure therapy can have a calming effect and reduce anxiety while improving the person’s sense of body awareness.

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

Sensory overloads are caused when the brain is overwhelmed by the amount of input it receives in a given time (if you’ve ever felt fatigued or stressed after a few hours of doomscrolling, that’s what it is). This neurological ‘traffic jam’ causes people to suffer bouts of stress or panic attacks – something that can be a common occurrence for people on the spectrum. The OTO Chair’s isolating design gives them a ‘cocoon’ to sink into, while the contracting walls on the side help their brain to forget everything and focus on just their body being gently compressed by the soft cushions. Once the overwhelming feeling passes, the cushions can be deflated back to their original shape.

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

The OTO Chair comes with a footrest (that also serves as an Ottoman stool), a textured panel on the side to help people through tactile therapy, and a simple remote with pictograms that helps the person seated to control the chair’s inflating walls. The cushions on the side are designed to expand when unzipped, and will sit flat against the chair when zipped back.

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

Thanks to its cocoon shape, OTO offers privacy and gives a reassuring effect and a feeling of safety for the user, while the upholstery of the chair helps dampen audio, creating a quiet safe space.

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

A National Winner of the James Dyson Award, OTO now progresses to the international leg of the award program, with the results being announced on October 13th.

Designer: Alexia Audrain

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

James Dyson Award-Winner OTO Chair for Autistic People

The post James Dyson Award-winning chair was designed to hug people with autism to help relieve their stress first appeared on Yanko Design.

The ViXion is a mixed-reality headset designed specifically for people with low-vision and night-blindness

Partnering with Japan-based startup ViXion, Nendo has unveiled an eponymously named mixed-reality headset that’s designed specifically for people with reduced visibility. ViXion is a sleek headset that helps the legally blind (or people suffering from night blindness) see around them. The headset comes with a camera that captures the world ahead of the wearer, while an internal processor increases the visibility of the footage by amping up the brightness and the contrast, and projects the images onto the wearer’s eyes, allowing them to see better.

Fundamentally doing exactly the opposite of what sunglasses do, the ViXion is a headset that aids people with low vision, low peripheral vision, or night blindness, by brightening what’s ahead of them. The headset is characterized by a slim visor with a fisheye camera at the center, capturing footage across a wide periphery. The footage is processed to increase its visibility and then projected onto a semitransparent mirror display in front, for the viewer to clearly see. The wearer can also switch between black and white vision, black and white inversion, and high-contrast colors to match their visual needs.

Designer: Nendo

This wearable assistive device designed to help stroke patients relearn muscle movements is modular and adaptable!

Rehap is a wearable, assistive device designed for stroke survivors to exercise mirror movements, and joint exercises during the recovery process and relearning of basic muscle movements.

Rehabilitative and assistive product designs have made some progress in terms of functionality and accessibility in recent years, but the current need for at-home rehabilitative designs cannot be understated. While physical therapy is recommended for anyone who’d like to restore their natural mobility, stroke patients in particular benefit from a tailored rehabilitative program. Rehap from Ka Man Choi is a wearable rehabilitative tool designed to aid stroke survivors in relearning basic muscle movements even in the comfort of their own homes.

During the research period for Rehap, Choi learned that around 1 in 3 stroke survivors experience varying levels of emotional stress following their stroke. During the recovery period, rehabilitative tools and assistive devices help stroke survivors train the affected limb and their own muscle memory to prevent stiffness and maintain circulation.

Choi integrated physical therapeutic exercises in Rehap like mirror movements and joint exercises to help stimulate the muscle memory of stroke patients. Stroke survivors wear Rehap as a sleeve or glove and configure the product’s modular gears with rubber bands to meet their level of recovery. Conceived to make rehabilitation more accessible, Rehap is also a less costly recovery option for stroke patients.

Developed out of a single material for simple production and recyclability, Rehap is a motorless, modular solution that’s easy to reproduce and intuitive by design. Accessible for stroke patients at all levels of recovery, Rehap comes with interchangeable gears that can be swapped out to adapt to three different rehabilitative levels. The needs and progress of the patients change over time and Choi designed Rehap to meet patients where they are in their recovery process.

Designer: Ka Man Choi

Choi designed Rehap to be a sustainable and accessible solution for stroke patients to relearn basic muscle movements. 

Following an involved research period, Choi optimized the design to be adjustable and universal.

“Unlike most of the existing rehabilitation and assistive tools, without any electronics and screws, the single prints of REHAP are easier for recycling the PLA.”

“After research on the target user – stroke patients and discussion with the expert in assistive technologies, I decided to design a rehabilitation tool attached to the human body inspired by the exoskeleton and body coordination.”

This transparent display for captions designed for the DHH community makes sure facial expressions aren’t missed!

See-Through Captions is a simple, understated solution for the DHH community that uses a transparent subtitle display screen to project conversations with ASR technology and incorporate facial expressions to bridge communication gaps between DHH and hearing individuals.

While there are some adaptive designs that aim to help those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH), most of them rely too heavily on subtitles and audio, losing out on physical gestures and facial expressions. Some products are designed to convert sign language to text, some AI robots are meant to replace hearing dogs, and then there’s even a wearable device that translates sign language into speech. Awarded by James Dyson with Japan’s highest award, a team of designers from Digital Nature Group developed a new solution for bridging communication gaps between hearing and hard-of-hearing folks called See-Through Captions.

Developed for those who are deaf or experience varying levels of hearing loss, See-Through Captions was designed by a team of hearing and deaf individuals and tested in real-life situations to ensure its effectiveness. See-Through Captions is essentially a transparent projector that converts audio to subtitles and displays those conversations on its two-way screen. Since most pre-existing related products only focus on translating audio to subtitles, Digital Nature Group gave See-Through Captions a transparent screen to guarantee that users’ facial expressions and physical gestures aren’t missed. In addition to the incorporation of physical expression, Digital Nature Group improved its automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology to optimize real-time captioning and ensure an accurate relay of communication.

The See-Through Captions product comes in two different physical forms, stationary and portable, so the ASR technology can be applied across different interactions. In developing See-Through Captions, Digital Nature Group demonstrated different prototypes in a museum setting. In the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, See-Through Captions was used in its stationary form at the museum’s front desk as well as its portable form on guided tours. Following its demonstration, Digital Nature Group decided some improvements could be made to the size and amount of text displayed on the portable product. Overall, See-Through Captions is a simple, understated solution for the DHH community that incorporates facial expression as well as accurate ASR technology to bridge communication gaps between DHH and hearing individuals.

Designer: Digital Nature Group

On a transparent screen, ASR technology converts audio to subtitles in real time. 

The transparent screen allows DHH individuals to maintain eye contact while engaging with hearing people. 

The portable form of See-Through Captions is handheld and can be applied in social settings such as guided tours and offsite meetings. 

After using prototypes in real-life situations, Digital Nature Group is improving the amount and visibility of text on the screen.