Designing an experience that changes the experience

World Industrial Design Day is observed internationally on June 29 to recognize the establishment of the World Design Organization and to celebrate the power of design to transform the world. In honor of this day, we take a look at an innovation from Gyrolift, one of the startups from Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Lab accelerator program, whose ideas are helping people experience mobility equally.




Designing with experience thinking starts with three questions:

  1. Who is the target for your design?
  2. What compelling value will you provide?
  3. How will you deliver the experience?

For Gyrolift’s Lambert Trénoras, co-founder/CEO/CTO and his team, the target is clear: for a large part of the population, mobility is a challenge.

The World Health Organization found that 75 million people in the world need a wheelchair; but the basic wheelchair design hasn’t changed much for hundreds of years. Images of wheelchairs on Greek vases and stone carvings from China date back to between the 6th and 5th century BCE; King Philip II of Spain had the first known wheelchair in 1595; and Stephan Farffler was a young German watchmaker who built a self-propelled wheelchair in 1655.  And that’s about it: there was little disruption in the industry, and no indication any change was coming.

There are professional and personal situations that call for an adapted mobility system. Workers standing for long periods of time can develop problems with their knees or back. Otherwise healthy people might temporariliy need an assist for climbing stairs. These kinds of situations cause physical disabilities and reduce the quality of everyday life. They also cause issues with social integration, including able-bodied people not knowing how to react to those with limited mobility.

Gyrolift’s goal is to enhance the autonomy and employment opportunities of people with reduced mobility. Although there are some solutions available, they are large and cumbersome and they don’t easily adapt to urban, rural and building environments. So Gyrolift designed a compact and maneuverable device, allowing a person, whether with reduced mobility or not, to move well whether sitting as standing.

The video below will give you the inside design story in a discussion between Gyrolift’s Lambert Trénoras and Philippe Laufer, CEO of Dassault Systèmes’ brand CATIA. They talk about rethinking the relationship of the human and technology to support and empower people. This principle is known as inclusive design. If you design for the extreme of society, you have a positive social impact on all.

Also see our website to learn more about Dassault Systèmes´ 3DEXPERIENCE Lab accelerator program for startups. You’ll find profiles and stories about companies who are looking to disruptive product innovation with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.


Terrence Drula

Terrence Drula

As a professional writer in science and technology for over 30 years, I enjoy having a front row seat to the revolutions and innovations in how we live and work.