Interdesign USSR 1977

Design for the aged and the handicapped

Taking place in July 1977 in Kharkiv (Ukraine), this Interdesign aimed to address the need to develop specialized objects and environments for those with decreased faculties. The event was developed in collaboration by ICSID and VNIITE at the Institute of Industrial Arts, with the seminar directed by Yuri Soloviev, Chairman of the Organizing Committee; John Reid, Coordinator; Vladimir Munidov and Vladimir Lukashov. 

Twenty-eight participants from 12 countries (Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, USA, and USSR) were divided into five groups to address the theme ‘design for the aged and the handicapped’. There was also an official delegate present from the CWOIH (Council of World Organizations Interested in the Handicapped), a non-governmental organization recognized by the United Nations.

Recognizing the different types and degrees of disability in the world, each group focused on people over the age of sixty, and on disabled people who suffer from a certain degree of reduction in the use of their legs. The first week was devoted to the study of information and requirements, the analysis of problems, the delineation of objectives and the formulation of ideas; during the second week, the participants selected the best ideas and transformed them into design solutions, presented in the form of about 100 drawings for the final discussion.

Outcomes ranged from accessible kitchen designs and solutions to facilitate everyday tasks, to mobile work chairs and workstations and reduced-fare urban buses suitable for the disabled and the elderly.