April 30, 2011
Metropolis + Norway | Ergonomics for Life
Norway is known for the value it places on social issues, so it’s no surprise that Norwegian design often takes a people-centered approach. Aesthetics are fused with functionality to produce devices that are efficient, health-promoting, eye-catching, and easy to use.
The Xplory Stroller is designed to transport a child safely and comfortably as she grows from newborn to active tyke. A bassinet-like “carry cot” snaps into place for infants. As the child gets bigger, the cot is swapped out for a seat, which can be attached to either face toward or away from the parent at various designated angles: sleep, rest, or active. The seat can also be lowered or raised along the device’s main bar. The footrest extends to accommodate growing legs. The height- and angle-adjustable handle means that parents pushing the stroller will be comfortable too, making for an easy ride all around.
Sheriff Wheelchair for Children
Clunky, cumbersome kids’ wheelchairs have been redefined
by Krabat, a company dedicated to developing effective—and visually appealing—devices for physically challenged children and young adults. The Sheriff chair, which supports children up to six years of age, has a low center of gravity, allowing the child to maneuver his vehicle smoothly and quickly. The chair’s light weight and the steep camber angle of its wheels contribute to the ease of use. The saddle seat and backrest support the spine’s natural curve, and a hip harness holds the pelvis in the correct position. A centered handbrake is easy for both child and parents to reach. The Sheriff’s sleek, unobtrusive design doesn’t overwhelm the child as most conventional wheelchairs do, but instead lets him be front and center, allowing him to move swiftly and interact with his surroundings. “This chair is meant for social participation” says Tom-Arne Solhaug, Krabat’s managing director. “Our products help children to play, interact, make progress, and achieve.”
Capisco Office Chair
Inspired by equestrians’ engaged seating position in the saddle, the Capisco chair supports proper posture and keeps the seated body active. The chair is a direct response to our modern lifestyles, which force us to sit for long periods of time. “Human beings are not designed to sit still,” says Marianne Solli, the company’s marketing and business development manager. To this end, the piece is designed to follow the body’s natural movements and allow for a full range of motions, from facing forward to leaning to the side. The chair is a high performer ecologically, too—it’s made in part from recycled car bumpers and household plastic waste, and its manufacturing CO2 emissions are among the lowest in the industry.
Active Design Rollator
As people age, walkers and rollators can become essential mobility devices. “A lot of people are reluctant to buy these products because of the stigma associated with them,” says Dagfinn Nyborg, founder of assisted-living equipment company Access. With that in mind, Access developed the Active Design Rollator. The product is a good-looking, healthy, and safe walking apparatus, with a patented internal-brake system, adjustable seat and handle heights, built-in basket, and an easy-to-use curb-climbing feature. The reinvented rollator has been recognized with an Award for Design Excellence by the Norwegian Design Council.