Last week we announced the winners of our student design competitiion.
“Designing for the Future” run by The Future Perfect Company in conjunction with the University of Brighton is now in its third year and encourages student designers to think about the challenges and issues affecting our ageing population – and to create innovative and attractive and designs which allow older people to continue to live enjoyable, active and independent lives.
Winner Xenia Moseley, (BA (Hons) 3D Design) and runner up Florence Pike (BA (Hons) 3D Design) competed against a record number of entrants to secure a combination of mentoring and cash.
Family Tree Cards by Xenia Moseley
The Family Tree Cards are all about faciliating interaction and strengthening family relationships. They help to teach children about their heritage, whilst also reminding the older members of the family about the supportive network of people surrounding them, helping combat memory loss and loneliness.
The Family Tree Cards are a new way to present the family tree, which is becoming increasingly digitised making it difficult to share amongst a group of people. These cards can be laid on a table, hung up, stacked,shuffled and played with. Family top trumps, anyone?
“Inspired by my Grandmother’s deteriorating sight, I wanted to highlight the importance of the remaining senses. This made me think of further age related diseases such as Alzheimers and Dementia. I obtained information relating to the senses from my family members – their favourite smell, taste, touch, memory – and in this way was able to learn more about the personality behind the name. The resulting Family Tree Cards are a tangible catalogue of what it is they value and can serve to represent family members for generations past, present and future.”
“Tea for Two” and “Swivel Hatch” by Florence Pike
Florence describes her project as follows: “My products are designed to encourage communication between neighbours. I have used the garden fence to symbolise a social barrier. The application of my products transforms it into a meeting point. The ‘Tea for Two’ set draws people to the fence allowing neighbours to come together and share a cup of tea as they garden. The ‘Swivel Hatch’ is designed for high fences, allowing you to communicate with your neighbour by leaving messages, sharing gardening tools or simply having a chat.
My products are unique because they encourage conversation and friendship in the home environment where elderly people feel most comfortable. Secondly they promote gardening as a great way of being social and they expose people to the mental and physical benefits of being outdoors. Finally the products add an attractive focal point to the garden fence and fence post.
Research shows a link between social interaction and increased longevity yet recent estimates suggest that one million people over the age of 65 say they are often or always lonely. Florence found that neighbours in particular can play a crucial role in providing a source of companionship for the elderly: “I think my products target a market that is often overlooked in the design world and that they address the need for more thoughtful and exciting designs in an ageing population”.
Congratulations to Xenia and Florence and to all the other students who entered. We will be sharing more great projects from the Competition over the next few days.