Kalshoven

Study on how everyday clothing could be made fashionable and easy to wear for people who use wheelchairs.

In collaboration with

Emily Carr University

Study date

2010

I was responsible for

Co-creation

Medical device design

Soft goods design

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Understand the problem

Mobility restrictions impact how we dress ourselves

We studied people with 3 types of spinal cord injuries to understand some of the motor and sensory impairments they experience and what that means for day-to-day activities like getting dressed.

  • Quadriplegia  usually results in lost function from the neck down including all 4 limbs.
  • Thoratic paraplegia usually results in loss of motor or sensory function from waist down, including abdominal muscles. The person still has use of their  neck, arms and hands.
  • Lumbar paraplegia usually results in lost function of legs. The person still has control and use of their upper body.

Most clothing designs do not consider the needs of people with motor and sensory restrictions, making it difficult for them to wear.

For this study, we focused on people with thoratic and lumbar paraplegia.

Our co-creator shared her barriers to daily living

Her experiences and expertise helped guide us on how we could solve problems.

What we heard

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Design process

We explored construction methods, made patterns, and repurposed from existing clothing. Note that we are not fashion designers by trade so we had to be creative in our approach.

Pants

Coat

Hand protection

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Concept

Steps

Product features

Product shots

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Mentions

World Journal

2010