The wheelchair radius has been awarded the German Design Award Gold 2018 in the category of “Medical, Rehabilitation and Health Care”. The adaptive wheelchair had been developed by the Cologne-based start-up company Desino and is based on a graduate thesis of KISD alumni Thyl Junker at KISD – Köln International School of Desig: in the area of expertise “Design for Manufacturing“ supervised by Prof. Hatto Grosse.

The German Design Award is the annual premium award of German Design Council for projects in the realm of product and communication design – projects that are innovative and will have an impact on the domestic and international design scene. According to the jury, the wheelchair radius matches this profile since the launch of the product will maybe mark the beginning of a market revolution. Due to a specific lever actuator, the user’s range of motion can be significantly extended. Furthermore, drive and seat system are designed in a way in order to allow the user the highest freedom of motion possible being almost equivalent to normal human gait. It is not the user adjusting to the system and product, it is the products that adjusts to the user, as it had been the basic idea of the product’s development process initiated by former KISD student Thyl Junker, Desino’s co-CEO.

Junker graduated from KISD in 2009 and subsequently continued working on his product idea and KISD final thesis called “the animated product“. KISD professor Hatto Grosse, in charge of the area of expertise “Design for Manufacturing“ not only supervised Junker’s BA thesis, but also helped the company of Desino in their start-up funding. KISD professor Hatto Grosse says: “At the beginning of the project, Thyl Junker had been wondering whether he will work on his final thesis in the realm of computer animation or product design. Eventually, he brought these two subjects together. Thus, what at the time seemed to be a quite complicated effort to integrate, was quite obvious – and is now, as a matter of course, a KISD’s degree program: Integrated Design.“

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