USAID – ’06
After Berkeley I knew I wanted to create things that helped people. After taking design classes in preparation, I got an internship at a small wheel chair building factory in the Island of Mindinao, in the southern Philippines. The company was called Freedom Technologies and was funded by USAID and Handicapped International.
Durring my internship I designed the supportive seating system that this young boy is using and I shot the above user research documentary on how tricycle users. The supportive seating system is basically a chair that has no back legs and it sits in a regular wheel chair.
It allows local physical therapist to create a custom support system for children so that their contorsions are supported. The idea was to design a flat pack system that physical therapist could use to build a custom seating system with only a drill and a handsaw. This is important because much of the philippines if a series of small islands and so it is important for therapists to be able to deliver care at a distance from support staff.