Challenging Perspectives: design, disability and life changing moments

10th November 2016 @ 7:00 pm
East Building
University of Bath
Claverton Down, Bath

“As a wheelchair user myself, thoughtful design has enabled me to work, travel and be independent. I think everyone should have that opportunity – no matter where they are in the world” 

David Constantine MBE

Designability’s 48th free annual lecture will feature an inspirational talk from David Constantine MBE, co-founder of Motivation.

David Constantine is a graduate of the Royal College of Art. In 1989, he was part of a team that won a competition to design a wheelchair that was robust enough to cope with rough terrain and could be made from materials that are found in developing countries. In 1991, the team set up Motivation, raised funds and started their first wheelchair workshop – which is still running to this day. Motivation now produces a whole range of high-quality affordable wheelchairs, trikes and supportive seating for use mainly in developing countries.

Since founding, Motivation’s work has reached over 130 countries and last year alone impacted the lives of over 80,000 people. In 2009, Motivation launched its first low-cost, entry-level sports chair at the request of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). In 2011, the IPC asked Motivation to design a new low-cost racing wheelchair to launch at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. This ‘Flying Start’ wheelchair, along with the other sports products, have helped to open up the world of sport to thousands of people around the world.

Motivation are continuing to pioneer new technologies and designs. They are currently working with a multinational partner to explore the potential of digital technology and additive manufacturing techniques, to provide customised seating solutions for use in developing countries. David will share some of his personal journey alongside the work of Motivation and reflect on the perspectives and attitudes that people have about disability, design and what can be achieved in less resourced settings.

We are delighted that David Constantine will also receive his Honorary Degree as part of the lecture’s proceedings. This honour celebrates both his outstanding work and the University’s 50th anniversary year.

Designability is a national charity joining expertise and knowledge to enhance people’s lives.
They are engineering and design experts with a passion for creating life-changing assistive technologies. They conduct original research and develop commercial products that meet real needs.

They advocate better technology for everyone. And believe inclusive design is the only way forward. So we work with end-users, carers and health professionals to help us understand the problem, find a solution and test it in real life situations.

They create great looking, easy-to-use products that go beyond basic functionality. And they partner with industry to help as many people as they can – they’ve transformed over 250,000 lives in the last 48 years.



This event is free, but please register your attendance in advance.


Target Audience

This event is open to all.