Two Hats

TargetElderly and handicapped peopleClientSelf initiated

Ron Krielen spent five years driving a taxi for elderly and handicapped people. En route, he would talk to them, ask questions and get to know them and their individual problems. He realised that this personal contact gave him a better insight into possible solutions than many of the actual healthcare providers. It sparked an idea: why not banish the bureaucracy faced by many of his passengers, and get them in the car with the very people empowered to help them? A taxi ride would become a mobile meeting room: instead of just getting people from A to B, it could let them move on with their lives.

As a case study Ron presented Merlijn, a physically handicapped 19 year old young man, who he met in a one-hour ride back to his house. This very positive guy told Ron that for five years already, he had been in this same electric wheelchair and while he grew, the chair of course didn’t. He was taking painkillers to be able to sleep because of not having a proper wheelchair. How could this happen?

Luckily for Merlijn, he met a driver wearing two hats, one of them being the hat of a filmmaker. The video Ron made of him gave Merlijn a face and voice, and with it, he and his family were able to convince organisations to give him a new wheelchair. In addition, just by seeing him on video they avoided putting him in a home with mentally disabled people and instead placed him in a place with people he can talk to.

Ron graduated with this project in December 2013. Two Hats won him the Design Academy Eindhoven connector-award.