Client Studio project
Design a walking cane that performed better both physically and emotionally.
The industrial design and design vision of ābl.
As my Grandma aged, I witnessed her refuse any walking aid that was offered to her. She’d stubbornly turn down any assistive device and then proudly proclaim, “I won’t be caught dead using a cane!”
pride versus pain
The problem was that these aids were intended to help her; increasing her immediate comfort, while decreasing the chance of future injury. By refusing them, she put herself in unnecessary discomfort and risk. Her pride was apparently more powerful than the pain.
But what was more important, her physical well being or her dignity? I’d argue both.
That is why we set out to design a walking cane that would challenge her preconcieved notions.
offering an alternative
We chose to develop a design that was different. Most canes today are clinical, cold, and visually complicated. So, we set out to create an alternative that is fashionable, friendly, and functional.
Improved functionality and thoughtful aesthetics would come together to achieve this.
We wanted ābl to look and feel authentic. This authenticity was created by designing the cane around a timeless form with genuine materials.
Wrapped in cushioned leather, ābl’s ring-shaped handle ergonomically positions the user’s grip directly over the cane’s shaft, increasing both comfort and stability.
Through research and our study of existing canes on the market, we learned that bending over to pick a cane up off the floor is difficult, if not impossible for some. ābl’s flared rubber grip tip provides extra traction while walking and also gives users the freedom to stand the cane beside them without having to hunt for a table or chair to lean it on.
creating the vision
Functional mockups allowed us to test and pick a design direction. CAD modeling and photorealistic renderings allowed us to communicate our design vision for ābl.
"The result is a flattering product that users are proud to carry"
In reaction to this design vision, we’ve had nearly a hundred people go out of their way to contact us directly, asking to buy ābl for themselves or their loved one.
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