Beautility is in the eye of the beholder…

Kowsky crutches

Yesterday saw Enabled by Design and fourteen other innovative projects marking the one year anniversary of being on the Next Practice Programme, at an event hosted by the Innovation Exchange. The day was set up with the aim of each project sharing their progress and learning over the past year, but it also gave me the chance to catch up with my co-founder, Dominic Campbell.
During a much needed tea break, while munching on my carrot cake, Dom introduced me to a new word that he’d come across recently and thought would be just my cup of tea. Oops, sorry no pun intended! : )

Beauty + Utility = Beautility

The word was Beautility and is a mash-up of the words beauty and utility. Dom had read a blog post by Tucker Viemeister called ‘Designing for Beautility: Where Beauty Meets Utility’ in which he explained:

Tinkerbell wheelchair“I have coined this word Beautility because I want people to realize that even in our mercenary world, beauty is not just about flower displays. Beautility is a new way of framing beauty, as something that serves a function, that elevates it to the bottom line. When things have a name and people can point at it, then it will be easier for them to appreciate the value. Designers are key drivers in the beauty business. The design profession’s job is to create Beautility!”

This word is extremely relevant to what the Enabled by Design community stands for. Some people assume that Enabled by Design is solely interested in making assistive equipment look good, which is one very important part of the jigsaw puzzle. However, an equally if not more important factor is whether a particular product is functional and does the job well. It’s all very well having a bit of kit that looks pretty, but if it’s not fit for purpose or fiddly to use, it’s more likely to end up in the cupboard under the stairs than be used for its intended purpose : S

We’d love to hear your examples of Beautility in action! Or, if there are any products out there that could do with a bit of a Beautility treatment ; )

Let us know by adding a comment below, on our facebook page or if you prefer you can tweet us here.

Team EbD x