The strange, hypnotic beauty of an underwater wheelchair

A few months back my three-year-old nephew Austin, whose hip joints prevent him from walking, was approved to receive an electric wheelchair thanks to his mom’s tireless efforts. The machine has been a real game-changer for him, and the whole fam is delighted to see how he now zips around, getting involved in board games & other activities that had previously been out of reach.

In a similar vein, artist Sue Austin finds a new kind of freedom under the waves thanks to her winged, motorized wheelchair:

Kottke writes,

It’s a tiny bit surreal to see how freely she moves around in something that many of us associate with an absence of a particular type of movement. But as Austin explains in her 2013 TED Talk, she thinks of her wheelchair in terms of freedom of movement, which is highlighted for others by the underwater video.

If this is of any interest, I’d strongly recommend checking out the excellent 99% Invisible article on the history of curb cuts & the fight for greater accessibility. Give it a listen & I think you’ll be hooked:


[YouTube 1 & 2]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *