By Leah Linhares
Photography: Courtesy Sarah Monacchi &Andrea Pelino
A team of designers collaborate to give children suffering from neurological impairments a second chance at life...
Five designers: Elisa Castelletta , Giovanni Dipilato, Sara Monacchi, Andrea Pelino and Luca Toscano join forces with Milan-based rehabilitation centre, TOG (together to go) Foundation to make life a better place for kids with nervous system pathologies or injuries.
Children suffering from such disorders are unable to write or draw due to the distortion of their hand postures and often, difficult-to-pry-open fists. Glifo is designed to help these special children learn and grow by facilitating self-esteem and development through writing and drawing.
Studying the different needs of each child, the designers have developed a series of objects in tandem with their special needs. So we have three sets of handles: Gee, Lee, Eff and a tablet “Oow”. Each piece aims to be replicable, easy to clean and carry, interchangeable and comfortable to use. Consequently, Glifo is realised through 3D printing technology, where each handle is composed of different parts, which can be easily assembled by printing them through a 3D printer. This allows creating 3D files that can be customized, based on the age and special needs of the child.
The first of the three gliphs, Gee admits three fingers and its shape comes from the necessity to let the pen have its largest angle, considering the position of the hand on paper.
Eff is the other gliph that also admits three fingers. Its shape stems from the necessity to always make the pen perpendicular to the paper.
The third gliph, Lee admits two/ three fingers and can be printed from a combination of two pieces, which are printed individually. Its shape comes from the necessity to make the pen always point on the paper, working alongside the hand movement.
The last component of the Glifo project is Oow; and like every form of primitive writing, it is a basic support. Ingeniously designed, this simple looking slate-like board can be clamped on any surface, grips the paper into position using rubber bands and is portable.
The inherent plus point of the design of these simple but defined rehab tools is that they are colourful and vibrant with kiddie motifs and an instantaneous attraction for the little users.