Enwheeled: History, Design, and the Wheelchair


Author Penny Wolfson
Publisher Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Date 2018
Dimensions 7.5 x 9 inches
In so many ways humans and chairs are bound.

Enwheeled  traces the development of the wheelchair through the lens of design history. Author Penny Wolfson, whose work spans both disability and design studies, weaves yet a third perspective—the personal—through her exploration. Drawing largely on historical sources as well as the modern expertise of theorists and users, this book highlights key moments in the advances of prosthetic technologies, particularly the Civil War and World War II and the disability rights movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. Propelled by this historical narrative, Wolfson considers the multi-faceted relationship of user and chair, human and object, in the evolving identities of people who use wheelchairs in their daily lives.

Ellen Lupton's Curator's Pick
"This original Cooper Hewitt publication explores the history of the wheelchair and prosthetic technologies, from the American Civil War to the present day. Penny Wolfson narrates the self-empowerment of people with disabilities, whose demands for civil rights and equal access to public places have driven the quest for innovation in the field of personal wheeled conveyances."
- Ellen Lupton, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design, Cooper Hewitt

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