DESIGN & INNOVATION
Innovation is the outcome of our design lead response to the complex social challenges we work with. As the SSE we develop context responsive solutions to encourage social ecosystem change in a manner that enables communities to become empowered and socially inclusive.
These holistic solutions range from personal mobility and support devices to educational training materials and new ways of delivering the training. We’ve also developed mechanisms to capture and reincorporate field feedback data from our community interactions to inform future iterations in our ongoing drive to develop and improve the effectiveness of all of our solutions.
DESIGN DEPT. PROJECT SHOWCASE
Through ongoing research and experimentation, our award-winning Design Department continues to develop seating supports and mobility devices, with an emphasis on durability, clinical functionality and appropriateness to context, incorporating usability feedback from an extensive network of clients, partners and seating practitioners in the field.
We have also expanded our skills into other areas of application. Drawing on the organisational knowledge and expertise in the SSE to develop new product solutions for external clients and partners in other fields.
Each year we explore projects outside the realm of wheelchair seating and positioning and find new ways to apply our expertise into new fields.
We were commissioned by the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital Trust to develop an adjustable positioning seat for children receiving functional MRI scans to assess their swallowing ability. Keeping the child comfortable and safely positioned was the primary goal of the project. The seat was developed over a 10month period in close consultation with the Speech-Language Therapy Dept. at Red Cross.
In 2017 we were approached by the SV14 project to develop specialised seats for their two seater sail boat. The SV14 was conceived as an accessible open-source sailing dinghy, to lower barriers to access for the inclusive sailing community. We developed a pair of custom seats that could handle the rigours of independent sailing, while providing comfortable adaptable seating support for the occupants.
WHEELCHAIR TESTING LAB
A collaborative project was established with LeTourneau University from Texas, USA to develop an ISO 7176-8 equivalent adjustable double drum test bed. This project has subsequently led to further work to establish an independent wheelchair testing lab at Shonaquip, the first of its kind in Southern Africa.
DESIGN FOR EXTREME AFFORDABILITY
Shonaquip has successfully collaborated on two projects with the Stanford University Design for Extreme Affordability programme. Through these collaborations we have developed two radically redesigned devices from the Shonaquip product range, the Lala2 Side Positioner and Stan2Go Upright Stander.
Check in with the SSE website for details on their availability.