From roommates to project partners.
I am a Communication Designer and my friend Fashion Design student and this is our journey towards accessible clothing and education for differently- abled.
Here’s the story behind- Krithika’s design collection Tashreef Rakhiye-please have a seat and Aishwarya ’s project Anvitha- A new step towards education…
A journey to bring about attention to the difficulties they face. Our Final Graduation project revolves around “Differently-abled”.
A lazy Sunday where we both started discussing our respective topic for final graduation project and ended up being inspired by the same woman! We call her woman of courage “Frida Kahlo”
“I paint my reality” Frida Kahlo, a woman of courage inspiring millions of Individuals even today through her life and paintings. She wore her heart on her canvas and endured till the end. The physical, as well as the emotional pain she encountered, was beyond imagination yet she was never afraid to dream a little more and continued living life on her own terms. That marked the beginning of our final project. Even though we started off with the same inspiration the route we chose was completely different.
Tashreef Rakhiye-Please have a seat.
We all have been disabled at some point not by bodies but psychologically. Pain is part of life, we should learn to embrace it and build a strong belief system that doesn’t allow obstacles in life to become stumbling blocks. Tall, short, chubby, slim- Fashion is still subjected to numerous terminologies which create barriers for people to express their style through clothing. The situation for a person who is able bodied and on a wheelchair is completely different when it comes to dressing up. A conversation with a wheelchair user would make you realize how hard it is for them to dress independently on a regular basis. The functional aspect of clothing is not always what they look for, it’s the fashion element that seems missing.
Widely available clothing solutions for wheelchair users focuses predominantly on functional and medical issues and has less emphasis on emotional, expressive or aesthetic requirements of the clothing. Many solutions do not consider the relationship between body and wheelchair which makes it difficult for them to don and doff regular garments. The project aims to bridge the gap between the fashionable and functional clothing for a wheelchair user to make an idea of adaptive clothing as mainstream as various other categories of clothing available in the market.
Neenu Kelwani, winner of Miss wheelchair India was someone I worked closely with. I chose her my muse for one of the garments to understand her body needs, Need differ from person to person creating a line which suitable for all wheelchair users is something easy is what the entire journey of 6 months of visiting week after week taught me. She was kind enough to wheel the ramp for me at my graduation show this year!
The entire project was client based which required a lot of field work initial few months was just all about visiting hospitals, Ngo’s, emails exchanged with Clients from across the globe. One to one conversation with various client gave a better perspective on the topic. The main concern noticed among all of them was the lack sensitivity towards the requirement of few design details when it comes to designing garments for them which allows more of independent dressing.
The issues they face are that — Widely available clothing solutions for wheelchair users focused predominantly on functional and medical issues (often indiscreetly) and placed less emphasis on emotional, expressive or aesthetic requirements of the clothing.
■ Assistance in dressing, Time is taken to undress in an emergency (Washroom assistance), Transferring in and out of the wheelchair and mainly the openings In the garments, Those are to be located in the front of the garment from the mid-chest to the lap to allow the wearer to dress.
The market has very few options which are trendy as well as wheelchair friendly.
I tried to work on these user needs and thought on incorporating a few design details that tackle these issues. To make the garments fashionable and keep the Frida element alive I created prints inspired by the Mexican Otomi embroidery. The overall aim was to make a subtle yet powerful collection which allows them to dress independently and fashionably.
Miss Neenu Kelwani wheeling the ramp in one of the outfits from the collection!
The outfit was given to her for an entire day as part of validating the functional needs which you can see in the shared portfolio.
I am attaching my portfolio link of the project for detailed understanding on this project.
The purpose of this Project is to help children with Cerebral Palsy build their skills and knowledge through the kit. The target audience for the kit are children with Cerebral Palsy. The physical age group will be 4–10 years of age. The kit will be created for every child with Cerebral Palsy. I am here trying to create something that could, at a time, help them in various ways. I tried to create something that helps children with CP with their Hand and Eye co-ordination, Orientation, differentiation and works on their basic academic learnings.
Reference to this I went to the school name ADAPT, it’s in Bandra, Mumbai. When I first visited that place, I spoke to the principle of the school Mrs Rekha Vijaya. She gave me insight about the current academic conditions in school. And she feels there should be more vocational skills and perception skills learning in schools and the teacher should have a more interactive session with kids. The second time when I visited and met the kids they felt strange at first and later they were friendly and welcoming. I observed them while teachers teaching them and I found that kids in a standard like 6th-7th still learning basic which we learn in 2nd 3rd std.
So keeping all that in mind I decided to make a kit, which will be easy to use and helpful. It should not be difficult for the child and guide to understanding what the product is trying to convey. The kit might be similar to the existing learning tools in the market for children with no disabilities, but will be different in its own way to help the children with Cerebral Palsy. The project link will be attached for you to get a better understanding of this project.
- Behance project link
Youtube Video link-
We both have had our ups and downs during this course of 6 months but were together that’s what kept us going! We wish to continue taking up projects like to make clothing and education as mainstream as possible for differently-abled