BA Product Design’s Nelson Noll has won an RSA Student Design Award for his innovative indoor wheelchair. Curve is designed as any other piece of furniture for the home, a resolutely domestic object.
I wanted to create something that replicated the feeling of taking your shoes off and putting your slippers on when you get home”Nelson Noll
Through an initial focus on speed racing Noll’s research put him in touch with multi-gold medal winning Paralympian David Weir and other athletes where he discovered that even at such a high level of specialisation they use their racing chairs inside the home. This inspired Noll to create a chair designed specifically for domestic use with three wheels for a narrow pivot point and a higher seat base to access table heights in the home (traditional wheelchairs are lower). Curve is made from low cost and easy to produce materials – CNC-milled wood, 3D printed wheel and a pressed steel hinge which is the only part requiring larger scale manufacture.
Beginning with a series of briefs, the RSA’s Student Design Awards challenge emerging designers around the world to tackle pressing social, environmental and economic issues through design thinking and practice. This year there were over 800 entries from 21 countries, with Noll awarded the Global Disability Innovation Hub Award for his design responding to the #HackOnWheels brief.