From Julie and Francesca:
At the ICFF this past spring, we admired the ergonomic Hability Kitchen System, a collaborative effort by Marco Miscioscia and Italian company Valcucine that strives to bridge the gap between aesthetics and accessibility. The EasyFood steel top (below), designed by Miscioscia, anchors the system; allowing users to easily navigate among the sink area, the cooking area, and the prep area.
We were instantly attracted to the industrial look and feel of the unit, but we felt the need to consult an expert about its functionality, aesthetics, and general usability factor. This is what our friend Charles, who has traveled the world in his wheelchair, has to say:
"First, I like the art direction that integrates drinking wine with cooking; you have to love the Italians.
I appreciate the fact that Valcucine has integrated the cooktop with the sink/faucet. The biggest issue I have with cooking is the transport of large pots, which is always problematic. So being able to fill a pot, tranfer it to the cooktop, and then transfer the cooked foods to a serving plate without have to reposition the wheelchair is a key benefit.
What I did not see—but would like to see—is an adjustable countertop where I could adjust the height or perhaps an area with a lower countertop. The issue here is that it is somewhat uncomfortable to chop/peel/carve at a normal countertop height. A work surface that could be pulled out and adjusted to allow for prep work from either a standing or sitting position would be nice.
Lastly, the table with no legs is appealing because the wheelchair can be easily maneuvered around and under the table.
Overall, they are on the right track with the kitchen. What they need to focus on is an adaptable kitchen environment that can accommodate both standing and wheelchair needs. Cooking is a social enterprise and is much more fun when done in partnership with others. This also makes drinking wine more enjoyable."