People want more than the bare necessities. They want clothes that look good and make them feel confident, not just something to cover their private areas and keep them warm. People are emotional creatures, not just bodies to keep alive. These statements are true for people with disabilities as well. However, many healthcare products currently focus on performance without taking into account the context and the lives of the people they serve.
In my research, I learned about Carolyn Pioro, who became a quadriplegic after a trapeze accident. As companies began making clothes tailored specifically for people whose bodies moved differently, she said that the accident may have taken her dignity but it did not take her vanity. She wanted to feel beautiful in her clothing.
The product line, Celebrating Vanity turns a house filled with hospital equipment into a home. By integrating health care equipment into the home in a seamless and intentional way, the needs of someone with a disability are taken out of the hospital realm and into the beautifully ordinary realm of the home. A hydraulic lift to help someone get into bed will feel no different than a bedside table that helps someone store items within reach. By paying attention to CMF, spatial integration, and the conversation between pieces of furniture in the room, health care equipment can melt into invisibility and serve its purpose without being a constant reminder of someone’s health.