Professor, Veryday: Sweden
It was the year “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” blared out from the speakers of almost every home and bypassing car, that Maria Benktzon joined Ergonomidesign, now Veryday. Earlier the same year she graduated from the National College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. Very much the rebel towards existing design traditions, she commenced on applying a user centered and inclusive approach to design. A child of her times, trying to make the world a better place for all.
She soon found her counterpart in Sven-Erik Juhlin and together they designed kitchenware, cutlery and personal hygiene tools that allowed users to remain independent, despite the failing strength and dexterity of hands and upper limbs and allowed them to keep their personal sense of respect.
Among her numerous designs are crutches and walking sticks, clothes for disabled, the SAS coffee pot and milk tray, the Doro phones for seniors, the Tupperware knives and work protection gloves for Ejendals.
All of which were developed in close collaboration with the end users and with the utmost ambition of making form and function harmonize. In 2000 Maria received the Ron Mace ‘Designing for the 21st century’ award and at the Include Conference in London in 2005 she received a lifetime achievement award. Maria’s work is included in the permanent collections at Museum of Modern Art, New York and Design Museum, London together with numerous temporary design exhibitions featuring Maria’s work.
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