Donn won Braun

Donn at Braun

Singaporean designer (and a recent industrial design graduate from NUS), Donn Koh, had recently clinched one of the most coveted prizes for industrial design students – the Braun Prize. Titled Leapfrog, the project helps children with spinal problems to switch between sitting, standing and walking seamlessly:

LeapFrog humanizes the assistive walker for the brain-injured child by combining stander and walker functionality – it transforms, and assists, in sync with the child’s intention to sit, stand or walk. Besides supporting physical development, sense of independence and esteem, LeapFrog also turns ‘painful’ medical engineering aesthetics into sociable, toy-like approachability.

One of the highlights of this product is its trait of being a hybrid product that can accommodate to the wishes of the user, rather than the other way round. Often we find products that reduces a user-state into a single-dimensional, lowest common denominator. The LeapFrog, however, has the innovative ability to scale to its user’s needs: in the sitting-configuration, it fully supports the user and demands nothing; when the user wants to stand up and walk, it knows to ‘retreat’ and surrenders some of that autonomy back to the person – that makes the LeapFrog a lot more human, and certainly less ‘cage-y’.

It makes me wonder also the possibility of developing this product for the other segments too. Having worked with some patients in a geriatric ward, I could see how this could potentially help the elderly who are too weak for sustained walking but feel too undignified in wheelchairs.

In any case, congratulations to Donn for a job well done!

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8 comments so far

  1. Kishore Balakrishnan on

    What is Donn Koh’s website ?

  2. Gems Sty on

    Hi Kishore,

    If I’m not wrong, he currently doesn’t have an online website.

  3. future designs on

    This is really great design, it will help those kids with celebral palsy/brain-injured a lot. Hope we can see mass production of this leapfrog.

  4. […] Source : gemssty.com […]

  5. Donn on

    hi kishore, thanks for ur interest. http://www.donnkoh.com will be up in a week.

  6. tuvie on

    hey donn, let me know if its up and running, I’ll give you live link from the post … thanks

  7. Gems Sty on

    As Donn promised, his site http://www.donnkoh.com is up and running – updated in the post.

  8. Anonymous on

    PLEASE LET ME KNOW I HAVE A GRANDCHILD WITH CP THAT ONLY WALKS WITH SOMETHING AND THIS LIGHT WEIGHTED WALKER WOULD BE GREAT


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