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Spry

Eliminate the stigma of being disabled through celebrating individuality and embracing identities.

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why design a cane?

When I first was diagnosed with a chronic illness I was embarrassed that I has become disabled. It is now four years later, and I am proud to identify with such an amazing community. I no longer saw disability as this burden, but an opportunity to create change. I wanted to shift this perspective for other disabled people and give them the courage to be proud of their identity.

 

understanding the lived experience of disability

 

Disability as a social construct

Disabled people are not disabled by their physical bodies, but by society and the built world. Disability is a social construct that has categorized disabled people as stigmatized, misunderstood community.

fashion turned medical

Before World War II, walking canes were symbols of prestige. During the 18th century in London, you had to have a license to use a cane. After the war, canes became the stigmatized, medical device we know today.

 
 

user research

 
 

prototyping

Handle goals

An ergonomic handle that be held multiple ways and still function properly
Can rest on a table or chair without falling over, when not being used
Supports both walking and gripping for those with arthritis hands

 
 

Handle Take aways

The handle development’s main focus was function. I continually tested the handles with many different types of users – young and old, small and large hands, weak and strong grips, so the result fits hands universally. The cane is a piece of transportation so I shaped the handle to appear in motion.

 
 

appearance design goals

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SPRY should address the social construct of disability. By creating a personalized and modern product, users can feel confident to use SPRY and proud of their disability.

 
 
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A mobility accessory that creates universal function and customized style. SPRY’s ergonomic features allow the user to grip the cane anyway they prefer, in order to maximize comfort. It’s customization brings the cane into the modern era, promoting confidence and individuality. 

 
 
 
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Grip anyway you like

The handle can be comfortably gripped multiple ways, customizing each user’s experience to what they need and want.

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A Cane that chills

When you want to take a rest, SPRY can too (it won’t fall over when set down).

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A cane just for you

Fully customizable, the user can choose colors for each part as well as measure the right height for them.

 
 

User feedback

 
It grips so easily. I feel like the cane holds me.
— 75 year old man
“Where did you get that cane? It’s so cool.”
— New York City subway rider
 
 

SPRY at The Cooper Hewitt

 

I exhibited and presented SPRY at the The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum’s 2018 Student Call for Entry in partner with their Access + Ability exhibition