Uyen’s Chair

  This project is developed as a part of TOM event. The first ever Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) event in Asia will connect children who are living with disabilities (CWD) and are affected significantly by their daily challenges with multi-disciplinary teams formed specifically to design and prototype solutions during a 72 hours event.

This is the hardest case brought to TOM: Vietnam.  Phuong Uyen is a beautiful little 4-year old girl. But unfortunately, she was born with physical disabilities and severe cerebral palsy. Her limbs are very weak and she’s unable to move. She can’t control her head and neck which caused spinal deformity. She can’t sit, self-feed, or walk. She has to completely depend on her mom and grandmother.

At the age of 4, she is supposed to be exploring the world around her, testing limits. But she only knows “the world” in the 4 walls of her house. Her mother sadly shared, ”Uyen really wants to go out. If I [mother] don’t carry her out, she will shout and cry. But after carrying her for a long time, she gets hurt because it causes bad blood circulation situation and bruises on her limbs. I’m also too busy doing house chores to take her out frequently.”

Uyen’s family wishes there was a chair that would be suitable to support her spine, adjust its size (height, width) for her growth, be flexible for different usage, and be made from a material that would provide good air circulation for extended sitting.


The main concept applies the principles of modularity. It has two main parts: the driving system and the seat. Due to the demands of the customer, this wheelchair uses a small wheel for easy driving in narrow spaces (mostly home), so it is suitable for indoor use.

The rear part has many small holes to adjust the seat height and backrest height. The angle between the seat and backrest can help for positioning at 90°, plus it can also transform for lying (180°). There is also storage for attaching table or other additional elements in the future.

Moreover, the head-pod can be adjusted to fix the head position of the child on different heights. In addition, the side part is decorated with some pictures and colors to make it more attractive to the children.