Ikea to Use 3-D Printing to Make Furniture More Accessible for Persons with Disabilities
Middle East, Universal Design, March 12 2019
ISRAEL: Ikea is the largest furniture manufacturer in the world. But its sleek designs, filled with handle-less drawers and low-profile furniture, aren’t necessarily friendly to the needs of people with disabilities.
A total of 13 designs are available today. They include items like the EasyHandle, a big, Rubbermaid-looking grip that can be added to the seamless door of a Pax shelf, and the Glass Bumper, a plastic pad that protects the bottom of a glass-doored Billy bookcase from the bump of a wheelchair. Each object is illustrated in a charming campaign, featuring people with disabilities helping to advertise the simple genius of the designs, while quickly illustrating the method of installation.
In a perfect world, Ikea furniture would already work for everyone. But ThisAbles is proactively taking requests from the community for its next designs–avoiding the pitfall of some corporate approaches to inclusive design, which attempt to create a single design that works for every user.
As the initiative explains on its site, “We do not guarantee that we will be able to find a solution for every need, but we promise to try.”