Final Presentation

Ben Pratt and Richard Lourie
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Ben's brief:
A belt designed for a dancer that uses the symbolism of roots to show the symbiotic relationship between Peter and his wheelchair. Rope designed to look like roots runs up and down his legs and attaches to his wheelchair in the back. This project is for Peter, a dancer at the Heidi Latsky dance company. Peter has cerebral palsy which forces him to use a wheelchair while dancing. Peter has a love for the environment which is why the design uses roots to connect him and his wheelchair. He is very open about his disability and is quite outgoing. We used this information and decided to make a piece that doesn't hide his disability, but actually draws attention to it. Peters Roots help Peter show that the wheelchair is not an impairment but an essential part of who he is. This project allows Peter to express himself and how he feels about his wheelchair without saying a word. On Display, the performance that this piece was created for, addresses the issue of how people with disabilities are viewed by society. This project addresses the idea that you shouldn't look away from those with disabilities, but rather appreciate the full person. Peters Roots is a belt with frayed rope that evokes the look and feel of roots. From the belt, the rope runs down Peter's legs and connects to the back of the wheelchair. Peter just has to slip the belt and leg piece onto his waist to wear it for the On Display performance.

Richie's Brief:

The dancer that inspired this project is Peter, a dancer in Heidi Latsky's dance company. Heidi's company focuses on inclusion of all bodies. Peter has cerebral palsy, which has restricted the use of his legs. Peter's cerebral palsy hasn't affected the design because Peter likes to be seen as more than just his disability. Peter would like to work with the environment, and majored in environmental studies in college. This inspired the design to have kind of a natural feel. Peter uses a wheelchair that he calls Timothy. Peter stated once in an interview that he sees Timothy as a dance partner when he is dancing. Hopefully, the project helps Peter express himself and his relationship with Timothy. The main inspiration for the design is Peter's connection with his wheelchair. The roots in the design illustrates the living connection between Peter and Timothy. On Display, the art installation that this project is for, engages the issue of how people with disabilities are viewed in our society. This project explores the way people view disabled people's use of devices. We want people to see a wheelchair not as a symbol of disability, but as a symbol of enabling.