A team of five Product Design students are in the running for Santander award for designing and developing the enAball, an innovative new product that enables disabled wheelchair users to paint. Each of the Product Design with Professional Placement BSc (Hons) students are currently on work placements and also run the Brighton-based design firm The Process in their spare time. Their product, the enAball is a portable and adaptable painting device that allows wheelchair users to independently express themselves through art.
It has been developed in conjunction with the Sussex MS Centre and the students worked directly with MS sufferers, taking a user-centrered approach. The students also worked with the national charity REMAP and have been nominated for their annual award.
Speaking about the project, team member Peter Barr said: “We wanted to design something that elevated the creative freedom that disabled individuals often find themselves deprived of. The enAball uses a ball bearing as a paint applicator giving the user 360 degrees of movement, and its small size and portable nature requires only a small amount of space to operate. The current market is populated by big, ungainly and messy products that restrict the users’ freedom through flawed rollers, barrels and wheels. The arms are also adaptable meaning the product can attach to a range of wheelchairs – from an adult’s to a child’s.”
The project has been shortlisted for a Santander Prize.