Interdesign Netherlands 1982

Product Design for Handicapped Persons and Elderly People, Second Generation of Plastic Technology, Maastricht, (Netherlands)

8-24 October 1982

Forty designers from 14 different countries participated in the first Interdesign in the Netherlands.


The objective was to address the problems of appropriate product design for handicapped persons and the growing number of elderly people, and to develop concepts for products that could be produced for the second generation of plastics technology, also directed to the Dutch industry. The goal was to demonstrate to industry, government and the general public that industrial designers work methodically to solve problems and produce designs that integrate functional and aesthetic characteristics.

Nearly 200 designers directed to twenty-five problem statements were presented at a briefing to the nine manufacturers involved.


Problems to be tackled included products for water sports suitable for elderly people, games and other recreational products for elderly and handicapped people, a crutch support which enables the crutch to stand up on its own, a connecting system for two crutches for use on staircases, modular seating units with limited adjustability in height and shape, a weight distributing system for the prevention of decubitus and rehabilitation for injured patients, a reading system for newspapers for handicapped and elderly people, and a foot-operated third hand for use by handicapped people and hobbyists to name a few.