designs of the year 2013: morph folding wheel by vitamins design designs of the year 2013: morph folding wheel by vitamins design
mar 24, 2013

designs of the year 2013: morph folding wheel by vitamins design

the world’s first folding wheelchair wheel by vitamins designall images courtesy of vitamins design

 

 

 

london-based vitamins design studio (duncan fitzsimmons, clara gaggero and adrian westaway) works between the areas of science, technology and business. their ‘folding wheel’ invention has been included in the london design museum‘s ‘designs of the year 2013’ shortlist (see the full listing of nominations on designboom here), and is being presented in an accompanying exhibition at the institution until july 7th, 2013.

 

the project was originally conceived as a bicycle wheel by fitzsimmons during his studies at the royal college of art in london. however, gaining much attention for the concept he began receiving a lot of feedback about its possible applications – primarily that it would be ideally suited for wheelchairs. so, with the help of maddak inc. – a company who specializes in home healthcare and rehabilitation products for seniors or individuals with disabilities – the vitamins design team has further developed it into ‘morph’, the world’s first foldable wheelchair wheel available on the market for purchase. having the ability of being collapsed makes it easy for one to transport and store a set of four during travel, such as in the overhead locker on an airplane, or trunk of a small car as a result of the wheels taking a smaller, more convenient shape– in their open, functioning state each wheel measures 24″ in diameter, folding down to a compact 32″ x 12,5″ when not in use; weighing only 7.5 lbs a piece and made from glass filled nylon with a polypropylene hand rim.

the morph folding wheel measures 24″ in diameter

in its folded state its dimensions measure 32″ x 12,5″

detail

wheelchair installment

when folded, the wheels’s compact size makes it easy to transport and store

prototypes 

 the design is patented and produced by US medical supplies manufacturer maddak inc., as the ‘morph folding wheel’

 

the open possibilities of the morph folding wheelvideo courtesy of maddak inc.

duncan fitzsimmons (left) and adrian westaway (right) of vitamins design at the opening of the ‘designs of the year 2013’ exhibitionimage © designboom

adrian westaway of vitamins design showing a small model of the folding wheel open…image © designboom

and collapsedimage © designboom

  • it doesn’t look like it saves very much space to make it worth folding. the cost would not be worth the small saving.

    trimtab21 says:
  • Nice work!

    Kegs says:
  • Wow, this is really cool and one of the best products I’ve ever seen here, because is not luxury but improving disadvantaged peoples lives. Deep bow!

    Dirk16 says:
  • My criticism of this concept is that while the mechanism is very clever overall it really doesn’t save a lot space. We go from a large round object to a large ovoid object with little significant reduction in size.

    littlecog says:
  • IDSA shared this story on its Facebook page.

    IDSA says:
  • This is a really great idea. I circular object is much harder to store then a long oval object even if the overall volume remains the same. The picture that would help a lot is to see what the wheel looks like when it is folded and still attached to the wheelchair. This folded wheel looks like it would make it much easier to get the actual wheel chair in a car trunk.

    Benjamin Ram says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

design news