“Most canes today are clinical and generic items of utility that do little to inspire the self-confidence of those who use them. We realised there was a need for a more personable cane, so we decided to design one.” Top & Derby, a Winnipeg-based studio run by product designers Matthew Kroeker, Gerrit de Vries, and Ben Grynol hopes to raise funding via Indiegogo to launch production on Chatfield, a handsome walking cane prototype.
A year in the making, the elegant Chatfield—comprised of a solid American black walnut shaft, cast aluminum handle and sneaker-inspired “shoe” tip—is the end product of earnest investigation into the essential, but esthetically overlooked, role canes play in the lives of those felled by circumstance, whether temporary or permanent.
Kroeker, deVries and Brynol have given equal thought to ergonomics (silicon grip that conforms to hand and diffuses walking vibrations), practicality (cleverly designed handle that allows the cane to lean against the wall without slipping), and aesthetics (refined profile, precise detailing, three colors, four sizes) in their quest for a better and more beautiful cane. And we, for one, hope their worthy endeavor pays off handsomely.
Photos: Top & Derby