DIY Affordable Wheelchairs Made From Reused Plastic Chairs in Rwanda

© Josep Mora

Wheelchairs are expensive and often inaccessible for people in the third world. This problem led Catalan designers Josep Mora and Clara Romaní to build wheelchairs from various cheap chairs that are locally available. The duo is currently in Rwanda to test the idea and to set up workshops to incorporate the final wheelchair users into the production process.

© Josep Mora

To reduce the cost of wheelchairs for developing countries, the designers suggest to use common wheelchair-wheels and attach them to locally available chairs such as plastic ones, or, build wooden ones. In the workshop of Inkuru Nziza the various models are currently being tested with patients from the nearby hospital Gatagara.

© Josep Mora

The goal is to reduce as much as possible the cost of the wheelchairs. By buying only the wheelchair wheels and recycling locally available material to finish the products, the cost is drastically reduced. To make sure the user knows how to repair the product he or she is invited to take part in the making of his or her wheelchair in a local workshop. The hospital staff is also being trained in making wheelchairs to carry on the work once the designers return to their country. The chairs might not be as comfortable to use as standard wheelchairs but they are definitely a hell of a lot better than none!

© Josep Mora

Tags: Africa | Chairs | Developing Nations | Do It Yourself | Downloadable Design | Poverty | Recycled Consumer Goods | Recycling | Reusability | Rwanda