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Monday, 17 March 2014

Ackerman donation boosts Universal Design @Home Project

From left to right (front) Prof M’Rithaa, Gerhard Coetzee, Mrs Ackerman, Hekkie Brink and Luciano Wegmershaus. From left to right (back) Neil de Vos and Adriaan Broodryk. From left to right (front) Prof M’Rithaa, Gerhard Coetzee, Mrs Ackerman, Hekkie Brink and Luciano Wegmershaus. From left to right (back) Neil de Vos and Adriaan Broodryk.

The generosity of the Ackerman Family Educational Trust is proving to be a great boost to Industrial Design’s exciting project to develop universally designed products for the disabled.

CPUT’s Universal Design guru, Prof Mugendi M’Rithaa and his students are currently hard at work developing a unique range of kitchenware for those with special needs, in collaboration with Hekkie Brink. Brink, a disabled person with one arm who had already been developing his own range of products was introduced to the Industrial Design department by Mrs. Wendy Ackerman. CPUT and Hekkie have now entered into a formal working partnership with funding graciously approved by the Ackerman Family Educational Trust. The challenge is now on to develop Hekkie’s products into a commercially viable range.

Master’s candidate, Luciano Wegmershaus, is one of the students involved in the project. He’s passionate about socially responsible design, sustainable design and universal design and says he feels a moral obligation to act. The very grateful recipient of a bursary from the Ackerman Family Educational Trust, Luciano says partnerships such as these between people like Hekkie Brink, academia and the design industry are critical in helping people with disabilities.

“I would like to thank Mrs Wendy Ackerman for her support and her belief in this project. Without the aid and altruistic intentions of such generous donors, projects such as these would surely fail.”

The crack team of designers, known as the UD@Home team, plan to have these innovative kitchen aids in store by as early as next year.

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za