Leveraged Freedom Chair
- ID Magazine ServedProject Featured On:ID Magazine Served — 7/30/12
- Leveraged Freedom Chair
Mobility Beyond Pavement
- The Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) was a collaboration between Continuum and the MIT Mobility Lab. Jung Tak, a Senior Designer, and I took on this project after Amos Winter, a mechanical engineer post doc and the founder of the MIT Mobility Lab (now GRIT), solicited our help to take a designer's look at the functioning prototypes that they had been working on in Africa. They were gearing up to spend the Summer of 2010 in Guatemala for further testing and refinement with Transitions Foundation of Guatemala and wanted our input.
What came out of our engagement was a conversation around how the Mobility Lab was planning on funding the cost of the LFC for people with disabilities in developing countries. We realized that there was an opportunity for this technology to have a first world application for active wheelchair users - to enable them to travel off pavement with ease, to go for a hike, ride along the beach in the hard sand, etc. At that point we realized that our, Continuum's, biggest value would be in helping them to visualize the experience and the appropriate aesthetics of the first world version of the LFC, later called the LFC Sport. Our aspiration is to empower people with disabilities and to create a vehicle that's more closely associated with a mountain bike, less with a conventional wheelchair.
- GRIT is currently busy piloting the volume manufacturing and distribution of the LFC in India. They'll be delivering 100 chairs to Jaipur Foot, an India-based disabilities organization. Engineering of the first world version of the LFC is slated to kick off in the Fall of 2012, led by Ben Judge.
Thank you to Jung, Amos, Ben, Mario, and Tish; Tom Burchard, Chris Michaud, Kevin Young, and the Continuum marketing team; Rich, Tasker, Tuck, and Bruce in the Continuum Model Shop.