iSaloni 2017 edition will be, as it always is, one of the most important design events worldwide and in this edition, some interior design studios will feature the ultimate social design products, aiming to meet the common global problem of ageing or disease.
“The life of a designer is a life of fight, a fight against ugliness. Just as a doctor fights against disease. For us, visual disease is all around us, and what we try to do is to cure it somehow with design,” said Massimo Vignelli, graphic designer.
In 2012 the Milan and Singapore-based designer duo Lanzavecchia + Wai produced a seminal piece of furniture, No Country for Old Men, conceived precisely for senior consumers, people who can no longer be described as “old” in the traditional sense of the word.
Their cooperation is based on those focuses and having hailed from two very different countries and cultures, they attempt to feed off each other’s backgrounds, knowledge and skill-sets to fuel lateral thinking and agile tangible application.
Together is a range of small, wheeled pieces of furniture with ergonomic handles, reminiscent of a
stick or an umbrella, that aid domestic mobility and can be used as side tables, work surfaces with space for iPads or as receptacles/magazine holders. Assunta is a seat/small armchair that harnesses the user’s weight as a lever to facilitate getting up.
There are some interesting strategies that interior architects and designers can work on to make furniture and furnishings into an extension of the body and, sometimes, it can substitute devices that improve the user quality of life. Thus the modern living spaces can become strong allies in the tasks of carrying out everyday chores and achieving optimum psychophysical condition.
Even the buildings can make a useful contribution when required. The Alcabideche Social Complex is a retirement home for the third age, designed by Portuguese Guedes Cruz Architects, which singularly fails to give off any of those “end of life” or infirmity vibes.
Ever is a range of bathroom furnishing accessories designed to meet the needs of people of all ages. Despite their simplicity, the objects designed by Monica Graffeo, Gianni Arduini and Marco Frigerio contain imperceptible performance enhancers that make them appropriate for different uses and appropriate for the individual requirements of their users.
The Gambol accessories serve as unusual towel rails, encouraging people to use them and providing solid support. In addition, the multifunctional Lissom shelves can become supports when needed, while providing space for bottles, cosmetics, magazines or other kinds of objects.
Ever Life Design
French designer Géraldine Biard believes that the role of design is to stimulate and help people prosper in the environment that surrounds them. This belief and her own research into and observation of patients suffering from dementia in Switzerland have inspired the Jardin d’Hiver accessories collection, which was designed to create a constructive habitat.
The pieces included in the range (bedside tables, a sideboard and a console table) are fitted with an integrated system to enhance aromatherapy and light therapy practices to awaken all the users’ senses, alleviating anxiety and many sleep disturbances. The extreme elegance of the lines also challenges and redefines the standards of medical and social design.
Design and technology combined make for an effective tool in helping people suffering from debilitating illnesses to make everyday tasks, such as eating, for instance, more simple. Liftware is a device that can be used as either a spoon or a fork, enabling the people who suffer from chronic tremor or Parkinson’s disease to feed themselves.
This special spoon/fork was designed by the Californian startup Lift Labs, then acquired by Google, and it contains high-technology sensors that make instant adjustments, allowing people to eat without spilling.
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