Cookware developed specifically for the blind and visually impaired communities requires a good blend of ergonomic and tactile design elements. While today’s product designs across industries shoot for minimalism, ditching bulky gear for a more elemental and bare look, the lack of sensory components overlooks those who might benefit from an ergonomic design, like the visually impaired community. French industrial designer Dorian Famin created Ugo, a two-part induction stovetop, to help streamline work in the kitchen for the blind community.
Ugo is a portable, two-part induction stovetop that helps blind people navigate cooking through haptic dials and an overall ergonomic build. At the center of Ugo’s design, Famin incorporated a chunky stove dial that clicks into place when turned to the right. The size of the stove dial enhances the stove’s ergonomic design by guiding the user’s sense of touch to the stovetop’s main power function. Famin’s stovetop also implements wide, easy-to-grip handles, ensuring safe carrying and boosting the stove’s tactile attributes. Ugo also recites step-by-step recipes to users, weaving in the sense of hearing to aid blind people’s experience in the kitchen. This addition allows room for users to engage with the cookware and accessories already in their kitchen and get cooking while Ugo narrates each step along the way.
While cookware for the visually impaired still has a long way to go, designers notice the lack of inclusive home products and create appliances that streamline everyday tasks. Striking a balance between tactile, bulky stove dials and clever incorporation of sensory elements, Famin’s Ugo boasts accessibility without compromising its refined personality.
Designer: Dorian Famin
The stovetop’s chunky main dial guides the user’s sense of touch to its center.
Wide, easy-to-grip handles enhance Ugo’s ergonomic design.
The two-part construction of Ugo allows users to use their own kitchen accessories when cooking.
The stovetop’s built-in heating coil adds to Ugo’s overall safety factor, allowing for flameless operation.
Braille guides fill out the front panel of Ugo to ensure that users can distinguish between the different dials and buttons.