We are extremely saddened on the passing of Michael Graves. As one of the most prominent and prolific American architects of the latter 20th century, Michael inspired many of us. He was an extraordinary designer and mentor who had a deep understanding of the impact of design. In 2003, when he became paralyzed from the waist down from a spinal cord infection, he focused much of his attention on designing for people with disabilities. The items he designed included a wheelchair, heating pads, bathroom handrails, and accessible homes for the Wounded Warrior Project.
According to a report, in 2009 Graves said he liked his designers to spend time in wheelchairs while working on certain products so they’d know what it’s like. “That understanding of being in the wheelchair and strapping you in and not being able to get out of it is a very, very good experience,” he said.
In 2013, President Barack Obama named Graves to the United States Access Board which promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design, and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards for the built environment, transportation, communication, medical diagnostic equipment, and information technology.
A memorial fund has been established in honor of Michael Graves. To learn more, visit www.michaelgraves.com