Winning accessible design by UofG students on display this weekend

Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Design rendering of three people in bus shelter featuring an assistive seat
Winning design: "ASSIST"

Undergraduate students studying landscape architecture won the top spot of BOUNDLESS: A Post-Secondary Design Challenge focused on creative solutions for accessibility in Ontario.

The winning entries are on free public display at Design Exchange in Toronto. This weekend is the final weekend of the exhibition.

The competition is in its seventh edition and is hosted by Design Exchange in partnership with the Province of Ontario. The province-wide, post-secondary design competition coincided with National AccessAbility Week and recognized proposals that showcase innovation in accessible and universal design.

Adam Persi, Julia Jerzyk and Amin Agha won the competition with their submission “Assist”, a public outdoor bench fixture designed to support those who physically struggle with sitting in public spaces.

The winners of the design contest.
The first place team: Adam Persi (missing from photo), Julia Jerzyk and Amin Agha

The ASSIST seat eases the user in and out of the seat gently while also providing a comfortable seat for the ageing population and their needs.

“Our team has found that today’s benches do not encourage long-term sitting as concrete and metal materials do not retain heat, and wood is often flat, resulting in concentrated pressure points between the user and the bench,” explains the team in their submission.

The seat is composed of 100 percent recycled, industrial by-product and high-density polyethylene, allowing it to take ergonomic forms. This sustainable material is both solar and stain resistant.

The ASSIST seat can be fastened onto any bench surface as long as the seat of the original bench is flat. For benches that do not have backings, an optional backrest can be installed to the fixture for extra comfort.

The second place team.
The second place team: Victoria Ventzke, Lauren Dickson, Reilly McCleary and Calum Molitor-Dyer

Another UofG student team consisiting of landscape architecture students Victoria Ventzke, Lauren Dickson, Reilly McCleary and Calum Molitor-Dyer placed second with their “Pace” submission. Pace is a product aimed at changing the way citizens with accessibility issues interact with crosswalks in heavy traffic areas. The current crossing times are based on the walking speed of the average person and aimed at keeping the flow of vehicular traffic. Pace is an RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) system made available to people with physical disabilities who need extra time to cross the street at a comfortable speed.

The winning entries are being presented in an exhibition at Design Exchange until July 1, 2019, on the ground floor. More information available on the Design Exchange website.

News Archive