Ella Sanderson Angus Lewry Freerein

  • Tauira / Students
    Ella Sanderson, Angus Lewry
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Machiko Niimi, Tim Armstrong
  • School
    Otago Polytechnic School of Design

Our intention behind Freerein is to facilitate gentle exercise for people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We found in our research that many current assistive care products for people with a range of disabilities and injuries are often utilitarian, clinical and give little consideration to their lifestyle, environment and mental health. We found that this lack of consideration in these products may lead to embarrassment, resistance and even refusal of use from the user. As designers, we can do better.

It can be difficult for people living with MS to complete tasks or activities as easily as they may have done before diagnosis, particularly exercise. For someone living with MS, exercise has significantly shown to help prevent further exacerbations, build muscle strength and improve mental health, yet sensitivity to temperature changes and easily onset fatigue make exercising without intervention challenging. Working with Occupational Therapists and primary users, we designed the Freerein electric-assist kick-bike to generate the feeling of the wind through your hair whilst gently building up strength and improving your Hauora (wellbeing).