“…ma così è la vita”: design overthrows barriers

associationSometimes, a few expedients can make easier people life. It is particularly valid for who lives with a strongly disabling conditions, such as, for instance, that deriving from chorea of Huntington, a genetic neuro-degenerative disease impacting on muscular coordination and leading to a slow cognitive decline. Right with this in mind, AICH Onlus Milano, the association that, since 1979, has been collecting the families of people affected by the Huntington disease, has promoted “…ma così è la vita!, the Design For All project in cooperation with Milan Politecnico and design celebrities.

logo ma così è la vita

The goal is, precisely, using creativity and innovation to design objects that can be used in daily life, to make it easier, both for people with Huntington and for their families and, therefore, for everyone. Among the initiatives included in “…ma così è la vita!”, Junior Design Contest Under 35, addressed to under 35 designers and architects called to design a particular toilet tablet: an object that can seem insignificant to who doesn’t live with this disease, but, if it would be made answering the patients’ needs, it can really make a difference.

The contest, presented in June, will end with the award ceremony on December 3rd, the World Disability Day.


how to participate in “…ma così è la vita”

The contest of “…ma così è la vita!” project is addressed to under 35 designers (born after November 2nd), who can send their projects, presenting them the way they prefer, by November 3rd 2016, following the guidelines.

The works will be examined by a prestigious panel, including design experts, representative of associations and institutions active in the fight against neurological diseases and barriers, who will choose the best ones.

fragile talesAll the selected materials will be part of an exhibition, scheduled for 2017, and included in the catalogue created on this occasion. The exhibition will also collect all the Design For All objects created by some famous designers (called “big pencils”) to represent the Huntington disease.

Moreover, AICH association will present the best projects to companies it companions with, to evaluate their feasibility. The incomes deriving from the sale of the products which will be considered suitable for industrial production will be equally split between the designer and AICH Milan Onlus (that commits to use the funds for projects supporting people with Huntington and their families). All the projects will be launched on the market with the label “… ma così è la vita!”.

“Dialogo nel Buio”: you don’t need sight to look ahead

Since ten years, the Milan Blind People Institute hosts “Dialogo nel Buio” (“Dialogue in the Dark”, ndt), an evocative one hour exhibition/path, immersed into the full darkness.

"Dialogo nel Buio"

Then, an exhibition where visitors- accompanied by an experienced blind guide- can explore the spaces (inside and outside) of the path relying on all senses, except sight.

In the darkness, everything acquires a different “taste”: from food you can taste during the dinner (that must be booked apart, in addition to the path), to coffee and flowers smell, ‘til the perception of space and your own self. But this isn’t a mere imitation of blindness: “Dialogo nel Buio” is far more than a way to experience, without light, the other senses activate in a more powerful way, giving back a deeper experience of reality and interaction with the other people participating in the path. .

You can experience the “Dialogo nel Buio” path in groups of 8 people, aged 6 or more (“under 18” can participate only if they’re with an adult), plus the guide. Of course, during the path, you can’t bring anything bright, including mobile and smartphones: all the things that could create a diversion during the path must be deposited in the appropriate cabinets before starting.

Given its peculiarity, “Dialogo nel Buio” is also open to people with motoric, sensory or psychic disabilities, but with some expedients:

  • Disability must be specified while booking, so that an assistance service can be organized, if needed.
  • If you use crutches or other walking aids, you can use the wheelchairs available directly in loco.

In August, “Dialogo nel Buio” takes a break, but the exhibition/path will restart in September (for reservations or more info, please refer to its website).

Don’t miss the chance to enjoy this experience or gift your loved ones with it! You’ll realize that even for who can’t see, life isn’t necessarily dull or sad: it’s simply different.