“Design must be an innovative, highly creative, cross-disciplinary tool responsive to the needs of men. It must be more research-oriented, and we must stop defiling the earth itself with poorly-designed objects and structures.” – Victor Papanek
By Anthony Debella
This Elbee (above), is classified as a “heavy all-terrain vehicle” with a maximum speed of almost 50 mph.
Getting around has some new game changers. Vehicle manufacturers have always been designing and reinventing wheelchair friendly vans, trucks and automobiles. With the advent and popularity of vehicles like the Smart Car more efficient modes of transportation are finding their way to the disabled.
Evolving the business and manufacturing model of Swiss time piece manufacturer SMH, makers of Swatch, CEO Nicolas Hayek sought to open a market for those wanting a smaller, more stylish version of a car and the early vision of the smart automobile was conceived. Today, with a wider selection of smaller and more energy efficient vehicles, the newer enhanced styling of these new wheelchair compatible sportsters fit right in. Now everyone can drive with the same stylish convenience, wheelchair or not.
Fun, cute and compact are becoming the popular design trends for many modes of transportation. The Smart Car design and other European concepts are being evolved and manufactured for use by the “Handy-capable”, offering a more viable method for getting around.