Exploring the role of design in promoting function

Over the past several months, we have been applying design theory to the development of equipment to enhance function, with particular attention to sports and fitness. Realizing how adaptive equipment can create stigma and pejorative categorization of people into devalued groups, we are collaborating on several projects that bring contemporary design into the adaptive equipment market. Consider downhill ski equipment. All of us who ski have  seen  cumbersome outriggers that look like forearm crutches with skis on their bottoms. These less than attractive but functional items are available  only through “special” programs for disabled skiers. what would happen if the equipment were commericially available and attractive? Seems to us that it would not only get more use from disabled skiers but from all who might benefit from it (e.g. new skiers, aging skiers). Maybe a new sport might be on the horizon, 4-tracking for everyone. Stay tuned for pictures and progress.

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