On October 17th Farm employees gathered for a lunch and learn presentation on Universal Design and invited former Design Manager and Principal Industrial Designer, Steven Vordenberg, to talk about his life as someone living with a disability.
Steven discussed the challenges he faces, including the limitations he has when using his crutches. This led to defining a problem statement that would serve as a launching point for a design brainstorm held the following week. During the brainstorm, employees were split into teams to explore ways to adapt Steven’s forearm crutches to better meet his needs. Ideas were visualized and communicated through sketching and rough mock-ups and were presented to Steven for feedback.
As is typical of the Farm think tank, I was very impressed with the range of concepts and “out of box” thinking. It was interesting for me to be sitting in the “client's chair” and observe the energy and fearlessness that you guys bring to conceptual development. - Steven Vordenberg
Moving forward, Farm employees plan to refine and develop the brainstorm concepts with the goal of creating a usable prototype to assist Steven as well as others with similar mobility challenges.
I was amazed and humbled, but not surprised by the number of Farmers that were engaged in the disability brainstorming sessions. It is a perfect example of our employees' thoughtfulness, dedication, and unique ability to truly collaborate as a team. I want to thank everyone who participated, and I look forward with great anticipation to the ideas and solutions that are developed. - Darrin Manke, Farm’s General Manager.