On the Michael Graves Design company’s website, they talk about “Design for All” and “The House and Everything in it.”

“Michael Graves Design exists to offer products that create moments of joy in your life.”

Prominently featured in the Health section on the homepage are “walking canes reimagined.”

The company has unveiled its partnership with CVS Health to continue the architect-turned-disability rights advocate’s legacy combining brilliant design with  mainstream retail accessibility and another riff on accessibility: for health care and caregiving.

Graves passed away in 2015. He continues to inspire the Michael Graves Design team/family with the mission: “By focusing on the individual, we humanize design. As a result, people experience our work spatially, visually and emotionally.”

Ten years ago I wrote about Michael Graves, the man, here in Health Populi. The occasion was a talk Graves delivered during Social Media Week in New York City, discussing design for people with disabilities.

Here’s a snippet of what I posted on February 14, 2012:

While Graves wished us all good health, he said it was inevitable that a portion of us in the room would be sitting ‘where’ he was one day, whether through the natural process of aging and living long, through a traumatic accident, or disease. In response to a question on how useful the Americans with Disability Act is, he replied, “The ADA to most people means a railing in the bathroom.”

The issue of sound design in health is therefore every health citizen’s concern. Thank goodness for all of us that Graves has taken on the mission of good design in health.

And so this architect-turned-disability/design rights advocate’s firm turns to CVS Health for the next iteration of Graves-infused human-centered design for daily living.

The collaboration has four pillars baked into the products:

  • Ergonomic
  • Customizable
  • Simple
  • Ease of assembly (amen to that!).

The product SKUs include items for mobility and bathroom safety — baked with that Graves’ iconic design sensibility like my favorite teapot he fashioned for Alessi that was gifted to us for our wedding 30+ years ago.

What I loved then when Graves spoke to us in NYC, intimately, about his own health journey, is what I love now about his firm’s work: why can’t assistive devices be baked with lovely design that breathes joy and comfort into our daily lives?

And so it is with CVS Health channeling a comfortable potty (the 3-in-1 Comfort Commode) to make our toileting easier, and canes that cleverly fold up, with comfortably grips, and avaukabke in several colors.

As the mission states here for CVS Health by Michael Graves Design,

At CVS Health, we are passionate advocates for transforming health care into a more personalized experience through new technologies and innovations that can help improve the quality of your everyday life. Architect and designer Michael Graves shares these values, and our partnership with Michael Graves Design brings you a collection of thoughtfully created adaptive products that deliver superior comfort, style and functionality. It is through partnership like this and many others that we continue to bring you innovations in care.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  That mission statement concludes with the phrase, “innovations in care.”

Imagine a health care experience that bakes in

Superior design + function for the best daily care

as the statement says.

Michael Graves reminded us a decade ago, in that crowded New York City meeting space filled with us fangirls and boys that, eventually, we will all be patients. If we are lucky enough to age beyond the middle ages, we will be dealing with some levels of pain and memory lapses and eroding eyesight and hearing loss, among other challenges.

But to do so with joy and community and some comfort and ease?

That is the legacy of Michael Graves, and we are blessed that his design team continues to live and breathe and work hard to realize this mission for all of us.

Thanks to CVS Health for carrying on that legacy….

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