I’ve always enjoyed good design. If a thing is beautiful, that’s certainly enough, certainly. Beautiful things give us pleasure – they make us smile, or elicit a warm feeling, or trigger a good memory. In moments of anxiety or stress, I’ve often aimed for a gallery or flea market or even HomeSense to look at brightly-coloured objects. Sometimes that flood to the senses is enough to stimulate and reset my brain and calm my agitated soul.
But good design is so much more. When an object is both beautiful and functional, or has multiple uses, or transforms in unexpected ways, that in itself is an unexpected delight. The pragmatist in me gets a special buzz from pretty things that will stand up to daily use so that I can enjoy them every day. Or objects that will fit in my small space. Or best of all, when something that I HAVE to use for medical support is so attractive that it’s the envy of my non-disabled friends.
As a person with multiple diseases and medical conditions, it sometimes seems like the inventors of medical appliances forget the people they’re designing them for. Obviously function is the priority… but it’s not the only priority! A well-designed product should make you excited to use it – or at the very least, not be embarrassed or ashamed of it. So many medical devices are sterile and ugly. It’s only when multiple companies begin to market a product and some healthy competition ensues (and patients start having choices) that how things ‘look’ seems to enter into it.
It also seems too often to inevitably fall to patients themselves to come up with modifications and new designs for gaps in the market. Etsy has become a huge resource for disability design, but you have to do a lot of digging and rely on word-of-mouth to find what you need.
My hope with this blog is to share all of these designs as I find them. It’s a project of self-interest, no doubt – the things I’m attracted to and purchase are bound to mostly be those things that make MY life better. But since I’m a bit of a (so far still) walking disaster, that covers a lot! Hopefully you’ll find things here to help you as well, and even if they don’t you enjoy the eye candy anyway.