Things for Health, Things for Safety
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800W Design Wheelchairs


Unless you or someone close to you needs one, wheelchair design isn’t one of those things that’s usually top of mind. But there are few other product design areas where a well-designed product can have such an important influence on someone’s life and health (check out my recent story on a line of sexy, modern canes). That’s why I got excited when I got a pitch from Brandon Fonville with 1800wheelchair.com, a company specializing in mobility aides. Last month the company launched 800W Design, a new brand that will take a fresh approach to the aesthetics of wheelchairs, including the addition of new colors and custom stitching. I asked Brandon a few questions about the new line, and how it stands out from the rest of the designs on the market.

DT: What inspired your modern take on the wheelchair?

Brandon Fonville: After 15 years of selling wheelchairs and mobility products from other manufactures, I was always bothered by the aesthetics of some of the products; especially wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. Most products we interact with on a daily basis have a certain aesthetic value that gets more designed over time. Why should wheelchairs be any different? I partnered up with Medline, one of the largest medical manufacturing companies, and they allowed me to “re-dress” any of their wheelchairs, so we started with two products. The matte gray wheelchair was inspired by the colorways of Italian Vespa Scooters and modern-day office chairs. The pearl white transport chair grew out of our customers going to weddings and formal events and wanting to sit in a nice chair. We also sell to museums and restaurants, and that’s where we are looking for a modern twist on the wheelchair .

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DT: What materials are they made of?

BF: They are constructed of lightweight aluminum. The pearl white 800W Design Collection Transport Chair weighs only 14.5 pounds, which makes it easy to travel with and lift into a car. The matte gray 800W Design Collection Wheelchair is 37 lbs. and is self-propelled. On both models we used a breathable, mesh-like upholstery [detail shown above] that’s never been used on wheelchairs before.

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DT: Where are they made?

BF: The chairs are manufactured in China.

DT: How much do they cost?

BF: The 800W Design Collection Transport Chair costs $199.00, and the 800W Design Collection Wheelchair costs $250.00. Shipping is free.

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