Thursday, June 13, 2024

Graves taps personal experiences to design buildings, products that heal

Michael Graves
Michael Graves

Internationally renowned Indiana-born architect Michael Graves, 80, designer of the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, the St. Vincent Health building in Carmel and Fort Wayne’s Snyderman House, has turned his attention to universal design. The Princeton, N.J.-based modernist, confined to a wheelchair since 2003 when he came down with a mysterious virus that left him paralyzed from the chest down, recently told the Washington Post good design can be crucial to healing. Whether designing a single-family home for a wounded active-duty soldier in Virginia or nursing homes for Carmel-based Mainstreet, Graves considers his own experiences. That leads to designs minimizing stairs, wide hallways that allow two wheelchairs to pass and rooms with enough space for a wheelchair to spin in a circle even after furniture is placed. Well-known for his iconic Alessi teakettle and a signature line of household goods for Target, Graves also is working with a health technology company to design hospital room products.


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