Levio. Adapted wheelchair for children
Walking-impaired and people with physical disabilities often have to depend on the active support of others. While wheelchairs increase mobility and independence for people with disabilities, they are often difficult to manoeuvre. Whether mechanical or electrical, the wheelchair is one field that has been sorely neglected and cries out for innovation.
Hauke Lerche came into contact with product design through his father who is also a designer. His interest was particularly piqued by the rich diversity of working methods in various areas. His studies at the Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd culminated in his dissertation “Levio – ein Adaptivrollstuhl für Kinder im Alter von 3 bis 15 Jahren” (Levio – an adaptable wheelchair for children aged 3-15). The project phase from research to making the 1:1 design model to the conceptional visualisation took three and a half months. Lerche credits his initial contact in rehabilitation institutions during his national service and his strong interest in technology as triggers for deciding to dedicate himself to mobility aids and developing wheelchairs for people who have difficulty in walking. The Levio, which is manufactured from standard carbonplates, is a relatively lightweight model at 6.5 kilogrammes. The sides of the wheelchair are formed by a mesh pattern and, with their adjustable height, are designed to be used by young users up to the age of four. Lerche is currently in negotiations with his co-operation partner Berollka-aktiv Rollstuhltechnik concerning the implementation and further development of his concept. Berolka’s decision whether to pursue the project will be taken in the next few weeks.