Marc Harrison (1936-1998) was an industrial designer from the United States.
Harrison sustained a significant brain injury in a sledding accident when he was eleven years old. He had to relearn simple functions like walking and talking as a result of the crash. Harrison gained experience and motivation for his future work as an industrial designer due to this incident and his lengthy recovery.
He went to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, to further his studies.
He taught at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence beginning in 1959. Based on ergonomic and human-factor considerations in his design work, in his design studio, he specialised in the design of industrial and medical equipment, including the patented 1972 Red Cross blood-collecting procedure used in the United States and subway equipment for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. He was the principal designer for Cuisinart’s products beginning in 1978, and he redesigned the company’s food-processing line.
The design philosophy of the time was that products should be designed for those of average shape, size, and ability. Though the intention was that these products would work for many people, the elderly and disabled found products designed by this method to be difficult to use. Harrison turned this philosophy on its head by deciding that products should be designed for people of all abilities. This was the pioneering of a philosophy that came to be known as universal design. Harrison incorporated this design philosophy into projects both at RISD and with his private consulting firm, Marc Harrison Associates. Since universal design was first defined as “The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design” it has been applied to many fields, including instruction, technology, services, and the built environment.
Cuisinart Food Processor DLC-X
Harrison’s most famous design, which incorporated this philosophy, was the 1979 Cuisinart food processor (DLC-X). Harrison redesigned the food processor with large and easily pressed buttons, large and easily grasped handles, and a bold, readable typeface. The new design was a success. By designing a food processor that consumers could use with arthritis and poor eyesight, Harrison had created a product that was accessible to people with a wide range of abilities. The Cuisinart food processor was extremely popular with the general public. This created new standards for new models of technology and machinery, making them accessible for all people to use.
The Red Cross
Harrison invented two prototype mobile blood-collecting systems for the Red Cross that changed the way of comforting donors of varying ages, sizes, and physical abilities by his accommodations and was later patented by the Red Cross in the 1970s. He was located in Boston’s Red Cross, and his students initiated a five-year project to research its projections on the nation. The work was to determine if the Red Cross blood programs could access various sites readily. They also had to use design technologies that accommodated donors of different ages, sizes, and physical abilities. The Red Cross patented the work of Harrison, and it is used throughout the country.
Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.
Marc Harrison – Human Factors. Hagley. (2017, July 17). https://www.hagley.org/research/digital-exhibits/marc-harrison-human-factors.
Wikipedia contributors. (2021, September 12). Marc Harrison. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:25, July 21, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Marc_Harrison&oldid=1043834861
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