My Add On from Aalst wins a Henry van de Velde award for the second time. This time with MyBlanket, a blanket that protects wheelchair users from rain and wind. What makes MyBlanket so innovative is that they can put them on without assistance or standing up.
The "Oscars of design in Flanders" is how they are sometimes described. For 29 years, the Henry van de Velde Awards have been highlighting products and services that show the added value of design from its most varied side. On 15 November 2022, Flanders DC announced which 27 projects could win the prestigious design awards. The festive award ceremony will take place in BOZAR on 7 February 2023.
Among the winners My Add On from Aalst, the scale-up of Industrial Engineer Designer and entrepreneur Marie Van den Broeck. It won awards in the consumer category with MyBlanket, a trendy rain blanket to protect the legs on the wheelchair. The blanket was created entirely with input and feedback from wheelchair users. "A thorough analysis of the needs and capabilities of the target group resulted in a simple, ergonomic and cleverly conceived concept," said the professional jury.
"I feel honoured. First and foremost, we want to make a difference for our users. This award is extra recognition for us," says Van den Broeck, "Our product designer Jesse worked out the first prototype. Together, we scrutinised every detail to make it as easy as possible for our users. We looked for the best materials, from fabrics to zips to even the snap buckles," Marie adds.
She would not have been far off if she had not submitted the project for the award. "The week before the deadline, I met numerous MyBlanket-users at the Reva fair (nvdr.: Rehabilitation Fair in Ghent). Their numerous thanks won me over. Going outside independently at the risk of rain used to be impossible for them. Now they can, thanks to the MyBlanket which they can quickly put on themselves. Standing up from the wheelchair is not necessary at all. The MyBlanket thus not only protects them from the rain, but more importantly gives them back their freedom. That was the deciding factor in submitting the project." says Van den Broeck proudly. Meanwhile, the design of 3 other variants (Kids, XL and handbike) is in the final stages.
My Add On also went on to win a Henry van de Velde Award in 2019. Then it was in the prizes with their innovative product MySleeve, a colourful cover for crutches with a gel patch that reduces hand pain and a magnet that prevents crutches from falling.