I use a cane to get around, a consequence of an unfortunate encounter with a taxi many years ago. I have many different canes (each heel size, for example, requires its own cane). All are cool. Some have animal carvings, some have silver, some have gold, some are complex in design, some are very Deco in style, and one has a sword (another a compass and a secret compartment). I get stopped on the street all the time — people love my canes and always comment. I was even told once that my limp is sexy — whatever…
What I don’t have is an “old woman” cane — the kind you buy at a pharmacy. I’m just not that old, and plan never to be that old. I want funky, I want things that match my outfits and my moods. And I want them functional: the right hight, the right feel of the cane handle, the stability of the tip, the light weight, the structural security. I want it all and I want it sexy.
Cane is a product — a very personal one. But most are stuck with poorly designed, boring, ugly, you-make-me-feel-like-an-invalid cane. Why?
Aimee Mullins is a beautiful young woman, an athlete, a fashion model, an actress, and a double amputee. Please watch this TED video presentation and think about product design.