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June 16, 2014 AT 5:50 am

How paralysis forced Michael Graves to design a better wheelchair

Adafruit 3206
How paralysis forced Michael Graves to design a better wheelchair @ Quartz.

For his research, Graves traveled to 44 hospitals to study the problems with the products and spaces within them. “I’ve been in enough rooms that are pretty close to Third World that I knew it wasn’t working but I didn’t know why,” he said. After three years of study with his design team, he discovered: “The equipment was old, the plans were bad, the chance for infection was great, the chance for falls was terrific.”

In 2009, Graves partnered with Stryker, a medical technology company, and went on to create nine products for hospitals including a bedside cabinet with a drop leaf top and a chair that helps patients with disabilities get in and out of it. He has also developed architectural plans for patient rooms; over a dozen more products are in the works.

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