Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Divisão de Design Industrial

Specialized in Care Design.

Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Divisão de Design Industrial

About Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Divisão de Design Industrial

  • Winner of the A' Design Award.
  • Specialized in Care Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Care
Shift Lift assist walker

Shift Lift assist walker

Care Design

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Extended Interview with Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Divisão de Design Industrial

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?
The Division of Industrial Design in the National Institute of Technology was founded in 1975, being today the oldest research group in design in activity in Brazil. Throughout this period we have developed over 200 projects in the areas of assistive technology, hospital medical equipment, packaging, transportation, agricultural equipment, electronics, etc. We also work in research, especially in ergonomics, biomechanics, usability, sustainability, social innovation and 3D printing. This resulted in five international and nine national awards, six books and dozens of articles and patents. The Division has two laboratories: Laboratory of Three Dimensional Models and Laboratory of Ergonomics.
How did you become a designer?
To think of Design as a tool to improve people's lives. To research new solutions that generate positive impacts on people's lives, taking into account ethical and sustainable thinking and doing.
Which emotions do you feel when designing?
We are a group of designers and researchers who work in Assistive Technology Area, researching and designing new solutions that promote improvement in the people’s quality life with disabilities or limitations of functionalities. Because it is such a large and challenging subject, Assistive Technology allows us to develop other skills and perceptions that transcend Design itself.
What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?
When we think of a good professional, three characteristics are mentioned: humility, which can be used as a powerful fuel to always be in search of the new, curiosity, for the construction of a more interesting repertoire, and finally, ethics, a compass for good choices on the path we draw in life.
What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?
An excellent designer inserts the end user into the design process. to think an object or equipment detached from the needs and perceptions of the consumer runs great risks of being mistaken, or just not meet the yearnings of the one for whom it was thought, becoming obsolete.
What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?
A design project is a good design when it fits purpose. Especially when you’re designing for people with impairments. You need to make a proper investigation about who your target audience are and what are their real demands - not only regarding their functional abilities or limitations, but also about physical and social environment they live in, what are their aspirations, individual tastes, ecc. When you design an assistive technology without a proper search, it is easy to fall into paternalistic, irrelevant or even offensive design solutions.
How do you decide if your design is ready?
We admire the work of the designer and researcher Graham Pullin, who wrote “Design Meets Disability”, a provocative book, that should be a required reading for those who design assistive devices. We also highlight the work of designers behind companies as Trust Care, Alleles, Scot Summit, Unyq, Art4Leg, Lindhe Extend, among others that challenge designers and society to perceive assistive technology not only as medical, technical equipments, but as something that could be fun, enjoyable, aesthetically pleasant and that can communicate positive characteristics about users’ identity - as any other design object people can purchase.
What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?
We understand design as a process, a way of discovering demands and achieving them, by looking at issues in a more holistic way. Paraphrasing the Argentine designer Jorge Frascara, we believe in the potential of design on transforming existing realities into more desirable ones, through products, interfaces, services, etc.

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