With summer in full swing and everyone packing their bags and heading to the beach, I thought I might share a story about a small, seaside community in Nova Scotia, Canada using innovative textiles to help the vulnerable in their community access the beach.
Access to the beach in Inverness, Nova Scotia has always been limited to long wooden boardwalks criss-crossing the coastline to allow beach-goers access to their wonderful sandy beaches. These walkways are invaluable to the wider public, providing sound footing and direct access onto the sand. But for the disabled or elderly population in the community, their journey was much-restricted as wheelchairs and walkers couldn't progress further onto the sand. Anyone who has seen a child's pushchair or stroller struggling through the sand knows only too well how limiting this can be.
However recent investment in this small community has meant that new beach-friendly wheelchairs and walkers, with wide tires and durable parts are providing an invaluable service to the vulnerable public.
As a designer interested in the impact of textiles on the community and my small contribution to the industry as a whole, I am delighted to see how weaving can have a positive impact on society. It is especially rewarding when I discover these unexpected 'gems' on my travels abroad as these experiences often filter into my design consciousness and may later inform another project that crosses my path.
If you would like to follow more of the story, please have a look at the local broadcast on CTV news here:
In the coming months I hope to share other stories with you that cover equally diverse topics. There is such depth to the subjects of weaving and textiles and I can't help but see the world through a series of pattern and texture!
Enjoy your holidays!