Year: Spring 2017
Duration: 2 weeks
Program: Stanford Engineering
Project Type: Group - 3 Team Members
Role: User Research, Visual Design
Tools: Laser Cutter, Adobe: Photoshop
Brief: "Design a tool to enable students in developing countries to participate in design education (i.e. build and design their own project similarly to what we're asking of you now). Consider the issues of global design, stigma, and affordability. Use your experience interacting with our guests this quarter to ground your design choices. Create a (simple) physical prototype of you design and document your process!
What does disabled mean? 40,000,000 people in the United States live with at least on disability, and 10,000,000 people are impacted by vision impairment. For visually impaired people, schools provided little support and few resources, preventing these students from having equal education opportunities. These opportunities are even more reduced for students in schools with few resources to begin with.
As students in the class, 'Dare 2 Care: Compassionate Design', our group was asked to specifically focus on people with visual impairments. ​​​​​​​
For our project, we wanted to focus on a simple design that prioritizes bodily autonomy and a universal experience. To us, that means creating an experience with which users can interact and construct the final product, including those who are visually impaired, whether that's slightly impaired, completely blind, or anything in between. 
Additionally, we recognized the importance of utilizing sustainable materials that are easily accessible in all countries, to ensure that the final design could be manufactured anywhere. Again, when considering developing countries, we wanted to focus on low cost so that people have the opportunity to make and buy our product outside the United States.
In rainy climates, the maintenance of cardboard can be problematic. People that are fully blind are very limited when it comes to constructing products or using a product that requires a certain level of functioning sight -- we must ensure the process of building this product can be done by anyone.
Upon thinking about our project, we did a fair amount of research on students of all ages in developing countries. We found that many students use the ground as their desk and are hunched over their papers and books for a substantial amount of the day. This is incredibly harmful to their bodies, particularly their shoulders, spines and lower back. We wanted to create a simple design that would provide these students with a versatile, and more importantly, comfortable piece of furniture that is not only functional, but they could easily construct themselves. 
Stable aims to provide students in developing countries with easily constructible chairs and desks, that utilize durable and sustainable materials. We seek to empower all students, including those with any form of visual impairment, to ensure usability and accessibility.