Tuesday, October 27, 2009

British brothers' wheelchair company wins Design Management Europe prize

From BBC News:

A disabled man who set up a company making wheelchairs because he was frustrated with the lack of choice available to users has won an award.

Mark Owen and his brother Jon established Nomad in Ciliau Aeron, near Lampeter, just six months ago. (Both are pictured.)

The pair scooped a Design Management Europe (DME) prize, beating companies from France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium.

It is believed to be the first mobility company to win a DME award.

The brothers picked up the award at a ceremony in Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, after winning the "first time design project" category for their wheelchairs.

Mark Owen, a wheelchair user, started Nomad with his brother in response to over a decade of "feeling frustrated by the choice of wheelchairs available to the market".

The DME awards recognise companies for the management of the complete design process, from product design to branding, marketing and literature.

Company director Jon Owen said: "Even to be judged against such strong mainstream and lifestyle companies is a huge compliment."

Mark Owen started using a wheelchair after a road accident in 1996 left him paralysed from the chest down, and with the use of only his right arm.

Jon Owen said the award was "proof that it is possible to make the best of any situation, no matter how bad it seems at first".