Architect Michael Graves is once again sharpening his pencils – and his wit – for the American consumer. This time around, the wheelchair-bound graves is – perhaps not surprisingly – turning his attentions to medical devices and equipment.
In an interview with BusinessWeek, Graves speaks about his time in the hospital (“crummy and ugly”) and doing for bath benches what he’s done for the tea kettle.
“A lot of time [medical products] look like afterthoughts. Think about the way young parents buy strollers. There is a kind of revolution in how they open and close. I’m just amazed at how they flip around. There is sound engineering. The Italians have done a very good job in designing them to enhance functionality. I’d like to see a similar thing happen with health-care products.
…It is important that people not struggle when they are using something, especially if they don’t have the luxury to get on their knees and make it work. We try and tell them how it works by color and shape. And we are trying not to remind you that you have an ailment or that you are sick and different from everyone else.
It’s a pretty good interview and strangely encouraging to see an aging starchitect dealing with old age and disability the only way he knows how – by redesigning it.