Crutches have been around for thousands of years, dating back to the time of the pharaohs. In the United States, the design of the common crutch has been unchanged for decades. Recently, BusinessWeek magazine challenged Hartmut Esslinger, founder and co-CEO of frog design, and Steven Skov Holt, distinguished professor of the CCA Industrial Design Program, to redesign the common crutch. When CCA industrial design student Remy Labesque also joined in, the team was complete. The result, the "4arm Brace," is featured in BusinessWeek.
Holt remarked, "It's tempting to think that certain things like the crutch have been around forever and that they've reached their optimum form. But that's not necessarily the case. One of the enduring lessons of design is that things can almost always be made better, improved upon, restated in a more eloquent and elegant way."
The team focused on the places the crutch touches the body as crucial to the redesign. The weight-bearing crutches in use today touch the underarm, which is full of nerve endings, lymph nodes, and blood vessels that do not benefit from this contact. The new crutch design is split into two components, the forearm and the upper arm, which offer better support for the body. Labesque produced the renderings of the final design in Alias.
A design in progress, the new crutch concept is meant to inspire designers and readers of BusinessWeek to encourage change in the area of health care design.Read the rest