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Joined at the Hip with Your Walking Stick



Disabled people whose walking sticks regularly slide over while they’re paying at the till could soon have their lives improved thanks to a new design by a Nottingham Trent University (NTU) student.

 

Sean Guyett, 22, created the Ida walking stick which uses magnets to secure it to a person’s hip so they can use both their hands freely in everyday situations while out and about. 

 

The BA Product Design student was inspired by his partner Ora Hambleton, 22, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), after witnessing first-hand the difficulties that disabled people face while trying to integrate walking sticks into their everyday lives. 

 

Sean’s aim is to support all people who have a mobility disability, particularly those who are working age disabled and those who find themselves ‘designed out’ of the wider world. 

 

“For many disabled people, a walking stick is as essential as your wallet and keys,” said Sean.

 

“But unfortunately, they don’t integrate very well into the rest of people’s lives, and in the urban environment a walking stick can become a real hinderance.  

 

“While paying at a till, for example, walking sticks often slide onto the floor after being leant against a counter. When people are using the bus, they can also get in the way or be impossible to hold onto while standing. 

 

“So, I wanted to create something to show how we can design away many of the common problems that are faced by people who have to rely on a walking stick.” 

 

Sean’s design centres on two neodymium magnet systems which allow for the walking stick to be attached to a person’s clothing. 

 

The first system features a clip which hooks onto the top of a pair of trousers which a magnet in the walking stick is attracted to. 

 

The second system is intended for clothing such as dresses and features a small steel plate which goes under the clothing. The magnet attaches to the plate from outside to hold it in place, and then the stick attaches to the magnet. 

 

The walking stick can also be secured against any other metal surface and can be pulled away without difficulty. 

 

There are three different designs of handles – each with a magnet inside – that are interchangeable and intended for different uses. There are also three different bases available – known as ferrules – which are also interchangeable depending on the types of surfaces it will be needed for. 

 

Sean’s design is on show for the Nottingham Trent University (NTU) Student Showcase at the City Campus until June 7.

 

For further information visit https://www.ntu.ac.uk/

 

Pictured: Sean Guyett and Ora Hambleton with the Ida walking stick.

 

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