Remarkable People

This waiting room chair can transform into a hospital bed

This waiting room chair can tr...
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UPDATED April 26, 2005 This Intelligent Waiting Room Chair is a seat for hospital, school and nursing home waiting rooms that folds down into a fully functional hospital bed when required - ideal for emergency situations and for areas where disaster may strike, the bed is, according to the judges of the Australian Design Awards who gave it a silver medal, "clever, simple, commercially viable, and integrates well into current systems." Most importantly, it was designed by a recent graduate who is now seeking to take the product to market.

The 2005 Australian Design Award-Dyson Student Award ~ Silver was taken out by David Ferrarotto, from Monash University for his ‘Gabrielle – Emergency Hospital Bed’. Gabrielle – Emergency Hospital Bed’ is a seat for hospital waiting rooms that folds down into a fully functional hospital bed during emergencies and disasters, when wards are full.

Judges felt that ‘Gabrielle’ was “a timely solution to a worldwide issue. It is clever, simple, commercially viable, and integrates well into current systems. This project is ready to go to market.”

“Basically, the concept developed from a situation that arose when my grandfather was in hospital and my mum went in to stay the night with him but had to sit up in a visitors chair because of a shortage of beds. I thought, that if they had chairs, they should be able to convert them into beds and it went from there”, David told Gizmag.Gizmag spoke to David

“Once I had the concept, it was just a matter of time to find the design that worked and once the design was complete, we realised that it could also be used in disaster situations where there are hospital overloads.The design for Gabrielle was completed p[rior to the recent Tsunami disaster. “That was a bit spooky because I’d already finished all the work on the design when the Tsunami hit and suddenly I had a solution for a big problem, or at least one solution to one of many problems,” David said.

“We also see potential for it to be used in nursing homes and schools where there is a need for both chairs and beds at different times and this becomes both a space saving and an economical solution too. Accordingly, it can be folded into the configuration needed at the time.

"It uses memory foam so it is comfortable. If any parts need to be replaced for a particular reason, it also comes apart easily."

It’s lightweight, transportable … and ready for market. David can be contacted at

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