Our co-designer is Pim Janssen. Pim is an incredibly positive person. He is currently 34 years old and navigates life with his wheelchair. This is due to the disability he has, named Osteogenesis Imperfecta. This is a genetic disorder that mainly affects the bones. He has type III, which in this case means that he also experiences physical disability. Some of the symptoms are bone deformity, loose joints or muscle weakness, a curved spine, difficulty breathing and easily bruising. However, this does not stop him from pursuing a great life; he is very active and enterprising!
Pim lives in a single floor apartment. As far as physical abilities allow, he lives there independently. He is affiliated with an organization which helps with activities of daily living. His house is fully equipped and fitted with digital gadgets allowing him a lot of independence.
Pim lives in a big city where everything is quite close by. He used to live in a small village, but that was in a more medical setting. He was quite satisfied in this small village but lived further away from everything.
One of his great passions are accessibility and accessible mobility, about which he is happy to advise.
Furthermore, Berlin has a big place in his heart. He frequently visits the city. Berlin is remarkably accessible for wheelchairs. Additionally, Pim records podcasts about inclusion.
Pim started his school career at special education on the primary and secondary school. He continued onto a regular higher professional education in Communication. Unfortunately, he could not get the diploma for this study due to his physical disability. He is very social, and he thinks helping others is important. This pushed him into the health sector. Currently, he uses his talent, his affinity with ICT and his experience as a patient to commit to a foundation. This foundation is committed to the quality of life of people with a life-defining, chronic, physical illness. This foundation achieves that with the help of innovative tools.
Furthermore, he inspects buildings to see how accessible it is. He wants to help inspect the city he currently lives in. In that way it can be seen how accessible the city is for physically or visually impaired people for example.
In order to design a product that will fit our co-designer, a context mapping study was conducted. This study investigates social trends, assistive technologies, and Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Furthermore, you can read about co-design and Human Centred design and how to integrate these while designing with our co-designer. For more detailed information, check the document about the Context Mapping Study.
CONTEXT MAP STUDY
From the beginning of the project Pim was quite clear about how we could add to his life to support him in daily living. Due to his disability, he has shorter arms, and he sits in a wheelchair. These characteristics make it hard for him to pick up a product from the ground or from a table. He uses a grabber to enhance his reach. With this tool he can pick up products from the ground and table. However, the grabber does not work in the way Pim would like to. The handle is not very ergonomic and Pim needs to do some extra steps before he has the product in his hands. He would like us to design a grabber that fits him perfectly.
To prevent tunnel-vision from the start of the process, the design challenge was meant for a broader range of ideas. In this way we still could explore and initiate other ideas to Pim. We could show him other possible solutions for other inconveniences he experiences.
The design challenge at the beginning of the process was to create or improve a product that makes Pim more independent without compromising his energy levels.
After we proposed some other ideas to Pim, what can be seen in the ideation process, he still saw the most potential in improving his current grabber. Therefore, the final design challenge we proceeded the rest of the design process with is to create an improved grabber that is more ergonomic and makes picking up items from the ground more efficient.