The GO wheelchair is made-to-measure, lightweight, and highly functional. It has been designed to t the individual needs of a wide range of disabilities and users, and is a tool to improve the quality of life for wheelchair users.

JUST GO

BY: WOJCIECH TRZCIONKA, PHOTOS: COURTESY LAYERLAB

LONDON 17.5.2016

DESIGN LIFESTYLE

Benjamin Hubert of experience design agency Layer has designed the world’s first 3D-printed consumer wheelchair. The GO wheelchair prototype is the first project under Layer’s new research division, LayerLAB, and has been created in collaboration with Materialise, world leaders in 3D-printed software and solutions. LayerLAB is a new in- house division of Layer that facilitates experimentation and research into the future of physical and digital products.
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Layer listened to wheelchair users’ wants and needs whilst consulting with medical professionals to translate those stories and frustrations into insights that could be used to transform the wheelchair as we know it. "You want something that can look cool during the day but also get you past the dude at the club,” says Everett, wheelchair user for 12 years.

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The GO wheelchair is the result of intensive research with dozens of wheelchair users and medical professionals conducted by Layer over a six-month insight gathering period as part of a two-year development cycle. During this time, the studio investigated how to remove the stigma associated with wheelchairs as medical devices and instead create a more human-centered vehicle to improve the everyday lives of users. "At Layer, we’re interested in understanding how people use and misuse the most important tools in their lives. With the GO wheelchair, we saw an opportunity to really progress the manual mobility category for users with disabilities, and to use 3D printing technology to solve signifcant and meaningful problems. For the GO wheelchair, 3D printing for manufacture is the most appropriate and powerful technology available to capture each individual’s unique body shape to enhance the form and format of a very necessary product and provide exceptional performance."

The GO wheelchair is two years into its development cycle and is currently at prototype status. www.layerdesign.com

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