University of Nairobi Conferences Portal, Innovation Research Symposium 2017

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A Designers Experiences and Embedment in Context for Innovation Toward Glocalisation: A case of SafariSeat Wheelchair Design
Julia Kamuiru

Last modified: 2017-12-04


This paper explores a case study of how a designer’s experiences and embedmentin context influenced the innovative designing of a low cost, all-terrain and opensource wheelchair particularly for use in developing countries. The desktop researchreveals how experiences as a user, and his exposure as a designer through interaction,immobility and knowledge of the Kenyan environment influenced his actions andthoughts to innovation aimed at change. The research further makes reference to analternate innovative concept design approach meant to achieve a suitable productfor developing countries. The paper discusses the designeruser versus the parachutedesigner and their product success in terms of use and functionality of their productinnovation. In conclusion this paper shows that the embedment in context, experienceand open-source make a designer-user better placed than a parachute designer withinthe confines of Glocalisation.

Relevance to Innovation. The innovation is seen through the use of the designerusermethod which was applied to inform design solutions. The product, an all-terrainSafariSeat wheelchair was influenced by the designer-user experiences informed byactions, experiences, thoughts and embedment. This case exemplars show of howthe designer-user experience can prompt innovative thinking. Local experiences andunderstanding of the nature of needs as well as resources, knowledge and exposurefrom the global scene can achieve sustainable glocalized solutions.

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