Behind The Product: Be A Part Of
Have you ever wondered how a product idea is born? It can sometimes take an extensive collection of life experiences to inspire even the most simple of designs.
This month we wish to highlight the inspiring inclusive story behind ‘Be A Part Of’ designed by Ella Westlund. This product is now available through Nordic Care.
The couch ‘Be A Part Of’ takes a real step forward in next-generation care facilities. The idea is primarily that a wheelchair-bound person should be able to sit within the sofa and feel a part of the community around them. This sofa facilitates inclusiveness for these individuals. It allows them to partake in a simple act of sitting next to someone, something which is often taken for granted by the able-bodied.
Words from the designer: Ella Westlund
This is my BA projekt.
My sister has Down’s syndrome so I know how important it is to be able to exchange experiences with other people. And so I have created a space where families of people with functional variations can share their experiences and support each other.
While my sister has been growing up our family has been able to visit Korallen which is a centre for stimulating the senses in which children with functional variations and their families can spend time together in a secure setting. The centre provides opportunities for playing, experiencing, communicating and just being. As an attendant, as a leader at LSS camps and in encounters with my sister’s friends and their families, I have come to realize how important it is for family members to be able to talk to others in a similar situation. I know that these meetings can have a positive influence on the lives of both families and for those with functional variations. This has resulted in my designing a sofa for Korallen which is intended to let us look each other in the eye. It can be used, for example, by a child’s parents when they have not had time to talk to each other for a long period, or by two people who don’t know each other but who can meet in a safe environment. The gap in the middle of the sofa makes it possible for children sitting in a wheelchair to be surrounded by their loved ones. I believe that, with a sofa that radiates security, I can help people to help each other.
Designer Ella Westlund
Ella Westlund is a product and furniture designer who today works as a freelance designer. She was born and raised in Stockholm. Ella graduated from Beckman's Design College and has since started her own company focusing on creating inclusive design.
For NC, Ella has designed BE A PART OF. Amongst the scholarships are Estrid Ericson Foundation, Helge Ax: Son's Foundation, Swedish Tenn, Swedish Form, Double Rector Scholarship from Beckman's Design College and the Artists' Collective Workshop in Sickla. She has worked in Tokyo for Torafu Arcitects and worked with the Swedish Institute in Paris.
Product photos by Jennie Aldén
Environment photos by Emilia Bergmark-Jiménez