New designs for (empowered) living from Michael Graves

Michael Graves wheelchair design for Stryker Medical

Ceci n’est pas une chaise

Michael Graves is on a mission: to empower people with physical limitations to go about the activities of daily life (which we, the able bodied, take for granted) with dignity and respect. Paralyzed by a rare virus and wheelchair-bound since 2003, the well-known architect and industrial designer has experienced first-hand the challenges this often-overlooked population faces and is now committed turning his designer’s eye to “creating tools and environments that made sense for patients, as well as for those who take care of them.”

It’s a huge market. From wounded warriors to aging boomers, there is a growing need for adaptive environments, technologies and products that offer ease of use and intuitive function to a wide variety of consumers. According to an article in MedPage Today, “Graves’s better designs range from hospital furniture that’s easily moved, accessed and cleaned, to walking canes that zip into satchels.”

From Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort Hotel in Florida to toasters at Target, Michael Graves’s iconic designs follow a simple but powerful aesthetic: “to balance form and function and create objects that are accessible and intuitive as well as beautiful.”  This new product line is a natural extension of that philosophy and a rare honor to seniors and others, who refuse to be marginalized despite their physical limitations.

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