December 5, 2019
FFORA Brings Beautiful Design to Wheelchair Users
Designer Lucy Jones’s new lifestyle and accessories brand seeks to address the needs and desires of the disabled community.
Lucy Jones wanted to create more than another trendy fashion line after she graduated from the New School’s Parsons School of Design in 2015. “I knew from very early on into my degree that I could not be happy simply designing product that doesn’t mean something to someone,” she says.
Her work evolved, taking on a more personal meaning as she talked with her younger cousin, who has hemiplegic cerebral palsy, which limits mobility along one side of his body.
Getting dressed is a daily task that the able-bodied take for granted. But for the disabled, it is often challenging and exhausting. “After speaking with him about clothing, I very quickly learned that there were quite a few things that were difficult for him, but some of those things felt like unnecessary barriers that were the result of bad design,” Jones explains. “This completely opened my eyes.”
With the July launch of FFORA (a play on the latin word for forum), her new lifestyle and accessories brand, Jones aims to bring better and more informed design to the disabled community, particularly wheelchair users—a large and undersupplied market. Indeed, according to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1 percent of the world’s population, or just over 65 million people, need a wheelchair.
The line’s core product is a proprietary attachment system, which comprises a clamp and open dock compatible with 170 manual-wheelchair models produced by 21 brands. The dock holds a range of accessories, including a cupholder and cross-body bags, giving users easy access to essentials like beverages, keys, and cell phones.
Jones is building relationships with various companies in the complex industry of rehab technology to ensure that FFORA continues to grow. “Collaboration and leveraging expertise mean we can create better products,” she says, “and therefore a better experience for our customers.”
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