Nice write up about this year’s Desiging for the Future 2016 at Collyers in today’s West Sussex County Times.
This year’s Designing for the Future Competition invited students from the University of Brighton’s College of Arts & Humanities to develop innovative new products and design concepts to benefit people affected by dementia. A parallel project with students studying product design investigated smart technology. In each case, students were encouraged to produce design outcomes which were desirable, supported real areas of need and inspired new approaches and attitudes.
2016’s joint winners are Elicia Oliver-Knox (BA Design & Craft) and Eli Heath (BSc Product Design).
Elicia’s winning product is a multi-sensory, memory-sharing book to help residents during the transition from home to residential care. It is designed to spark memories, helping to create connections between an individual and their past and facilitate the formation of friendships through shared experience and nostalgia. The book is filled with information, pictures, sounds and textures related to the life of the new resident. A copy would be given to the care home in advance of the new resident’s arrival, where it can be read and shared among the existing residents. This will help to create a level of familiarity and decrease anxiety levels for residents old and new during this period.
Judge Maggie Winchcombe from Years Ahead says: “I was impressed with the quality of all the students’ entries but Elicia’s project stood out because of the creative way it aimed to address the difficulties that people living with dementia often face in adjusting to communal life in residential care. This is something that is rarely spoken about but is a very real unmet need.”
Says winner Elicia Oliver-Knox “I approached this project with some hesitation as dementia is, unfortunately, often considered a taboo subject. I was concerned about asking awkward questions about such a sensitive subject. However, my initial worries were far out-weighed by the strength of my interest and as the project progressed I didn’t want it to end. I really enjoyed trying to create something I believed could help people living with dementia in some way”.
Eli Heath’s winning design, Pebble, is a hand-held, digital compass which aims “to tackle ageist material division and prejudice within product design”. Pebble is activated by pressing the screen which produces a blue dot pointing towards a chosen location. This location is set via a dial-up telephone service, a website or an app. In his presentation, Eli explained that during his research he came to the realisation that instead of designing a product specifically for older people, he wanted to design a product that was non-stigmatising and universal.
Other finalists included Thomas Meades, Laith Kawar, Jenny Whitworth, Benson Pocock, Nicole Andrews and Yasmin Caon-Beik.
The winners receive a package of mentoring and support to help them to develop their products and ideas further and emulate the success of previous Designing for the Future alumni who have gone on to win further awards and establish their own design studios and workshops. The network also aims to create opportunities to DFF alumni. This year, finalist Thomas Meades and alumnus Jack Durling were invited to run art and design workshops as part of a collaboration with the Michael Aldrich Foundation and Balfour Primary School in Brighton.
Peter Dale, Chair of the South East England Forum on Ageing commented: “Ageing needs to be better understood by younger people and the Designing for the Future Competition is a real example of how this can be achieved. The innovation demonstrated by the entrants was impressive, but most of all their designs reflected a sense of understanding about what their own futures may hold. Ageing is the future for all of us and for these students, as a result of this competition, it will hold much less fear than for many of their contemporaries.”
Says Philippa Aldrich of the Future Perfect Company: “The Designing for the Future Competition continues to grow. We are particularly grateful this year to the many experts and organisations who have shared their expertise with our students including : Dementia Friends, Active Minds, Eastbourne Designed for All, previous Designing for the Future finalists – Chloe Meineck and Jack Durling, solicitor John Greager and occupational therapist, Fran Hamilton from Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.”
Judges this year included; Philippa Aldrich and Molly Aldrich-Wincer from The Future Perfect Company; Tom Serpell, Director of Eastbourne Designed for All; Marie Harris, Managing Director of Beta Futures; Peter Dale, Chair of SEEFA; Maggie Winchcombe OBE, FCOT, Director at Years Ahead; Martyna Konopka, winner Designing for the Future 2014. The project was led by Dr Tom Ainsworth and Dr Eddy Elton.
We are always excited to find out to hear from our talented Designing for the Future alumni and find out what they are up to.
Chloe Meineck, designer of the Music Memory Box will be showcasing her work at this year’s Alzheimers Show at London’s Olympia on 10-11 June.
Chloe has also joined the Design Together, Live Better project. This new online platform aims to connect citizens (patients, carers, family members, friends or anyone interested in health) with companies and entrepreneurs to co-create new healthcare solutions based on real needs.
2013 runner up Jack Durling has just finished a community arts project with the Aldrich Collection and Balfour Primary School where he worked with 120 primary school children to create a stunning installation of colourful windsocks as part of the Open Houses Festival which runs during Brighton Festival. Jack is about to move into his new studio in Brighton.
Also taking part in the Balfour project was brand new alumnus and second year student Tom Meades (who was was runner up in this year’s competition – more information to follow). Tom ran workshops for 120 children encouraging them to re-design their playgrounds.
2014 winner Martyna Konopka graduates from the University of Brighton this year and will be showcasing her final year work at the Brighton Design Exhibition next week. Her work is a development of her award winning stroke rehabilitation jug.
It’s great to see how well our alumni are progressing in the creative careers and we will keep you posted!
We were delighted to hear that Howard Croft, an early contributor to this blog, has just published his first book.
Howard’s hugely enjoyable and often irreverent insights into the world of retirement ran on an almost weekly basis for several years and can be revisited HERE. Howard went on to write over 250 articles for the Malton and Pickering Mercury, his articles continuing to take a quirky, usually amusing, view on all things local, medical, literary, political, family, canine and international.
“Howard’s Way” is a collection of a little over 100 of the articles from the first five years of Howard’s work for the Malton and Pickering Mercury and is being sold to raise funds for the Ryedale Book Festival. CLICK HERE for more details.
A modern, stylish and inclusive kettle wins this year’s Designing for the Future Competition at The College of Richard Collyer.
Designing for the Future, run by The Future Perfect Company, encourages student designers to think about the challenges affecting our ageing population – and to create innovative and attractive designs which allow older people to continue to live meaningful, enjoyable, active and independent lives.
This year’s winner, A level student Lara Smith, designed the “Metamo Kettle”. The kettle was designed for people with stability issues, featuring a tipping function and “Ball & Socket” pouring mechanism. The Designing for the Future judges were impressed with the multisensory and inclusive design.
Joint second prize went to Guy Mannion and Jacob Hamilton. Guy designed a toothbrush designed for people with Arthritis. Jacob created a beautiful docking station with phone charging and storage function.
Students, Aston Beagle, Holly Silvester and Andrew Gardner were Highly Commended. Their designs included a universal prosthetic foot, multi tool for kitchen and bathroom and an accessory for keys.
The winners receive cash prizes and all the entrants will be invited to join the Designing for the Future network which supports and promotes alumni from the project.
Says Kate Sharp, Head of Faculty for Arts and Communication at Collyer’s “I think this year saw the best entries yet – all were highly marketable products and all were 100% fit for purpose. The final design proposals and prototypes were highly desirable items that would appeal to a much wider audience than just the target groups. I was really impressed that the aesthetic qualities in each design made for truly inclusive products. The presentations the students gave at each design stage and to the final judging panel were impressive, not only with the quality of their work, but also their assured confidence. This real world experience is a fantastic opportunity for our learners and I look forward to next year’s competition”
Judges this year included Philippa Aldrich and Molly Aldrich-Wincer from The Future Perfect Company and Marie Harris from Beta Futures.
Next year Designing for the Future is set to include older “experts” from Beta Futures’ 50+ Skills Exchange Club which will add a further intergenerational dimension to the project.
Marie Harris says: “We are delighted to be working with Designing for the Future and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the judging team. I think that this intergenerational initiative will pay huge dividends to the whole community.”
Molly Aldrich-Wincer says “The competition has been running for 6 years now. One element that is currently missing is market research with older people who are potential users of the products that the students create. With an ageing demographic it is really important that more intergenerational learning takes place in communities to avoid the generation gap increasing”.
Nice write up HERE from Molly Aldrich-Wincer of our recent workshop for our Designing for the Future students who are focussing on dementia. The project is progressing well and we are working with an engaged and talented group of students.
This week we launched “Designing for the Future” 2016 at the University of Brighton. This year our student design competition will have a major focus on dementia. There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today and Alzheimers Research UK estimate that by 2025 that number is expected to rise to over one million; by 2050 it is projected to exceed 2 million.
“Designing for the Future”, which is run by The Future Perfect Company in conjunction with the University of Brighton, encourages student designers to consider the many challenges of ageing so as to allow people to continue to live enjoyable, active and independent lives.
This year students from the University of Brighton’s College of Arts and Humanities will be invited to develop innovative new products and design concepts to benefit people affected by dementia and its care. A parallel project run with students studying product design will be investigating smart technology. In each case, students are encouraged to produce design outcomes which are desirable, support real areas of need and inspire new approaches and attitudes.
The winners of the Competition will be announced in June and will receive a package of mentoring and support to help them to develop their products and ideas further and emulate the success of previous “Designing for the Future” alumni.
We have been running “Designing for the Future” for seven years and it continues to go from strength to strength. We are particularly excited about this year’s focus on dementia and to be working with Active Minds who recently won a National Dementia Care Award for their dementia care products. We are delighted to have more judges and workshop facilitators than ever before from design, academia and industry. We will be continuing to build our DFF network to support alumni as they graduate and begin their design careers.
Judges and workshop facilitators this year will include Professor Anne Boddington, Dr Tom Ainsworth, Dr Carlos Parelta and Dr Eddy Elton, University of Brighton; Philippa Aldrich & Molly Aldrich-Wincer, The Future Perfect Company; Tom Serpell, Director of Eastbourne – Designed for all; Marie Harris, Beta Futures; architects Geraghty Taylor; Peter Dale, SEEFA; Maggie Winchcombe, Years Ahead; designers and DFF alumni Jack Durling and Chloe Meineck; and Intellectual Property lawyer John Greager.
Just before Christmas we met again with this year’s Designing for the Future’s A level students at Collyer’s Sixth Form College to review their product ideas.
It was really good to see these students focussing on the needs of the older people and considering the aesthetics as well as the functionality of their designs.
The next stage will be the judging in April when we will be joined by the winners from our University of Brighton competition and also Marie Harris, managing director of social enterprise Beta Futures with whom we are hoping to partner in the future.
I was really excited to come across a new accessible fashion website today. The Able Label purports to provide “quality, stylish clothes with adapted designs and hidden extras that make self-dressing easier for those with dressing difficulties”.
And the most exciting aspect is that the clothes really do look stylish. Something that can seldom be said about accessible fashion.
Go have a look HERE. There’s lots to love :
- Fiddly fastenings are replaced with quality hook and loop closures that will last as long as the garment when washed correctly – far easier to use than traditional fastenings.
- Colour co-ordinated tape and hook loop fasteners inside help those with cognitive difficulties to get dressed – ‘red for right’ and ‘lime for left’.
- Wrap styles make dressing quicker, easier and safer for the wearer – and possibly also for caregivers assisting with dressing.
- Shirts fasten with discreet hook and loop patches and have colour co-ordinated armholes making them easier to find.
- There are no fastenings on trousers so they’re easier to get on and off.
- All material used is natural, soft and breathable with added stretch for extra comfort and more ‘give’ when dressing and undressing.
- No items are dressed over the head.
- Putting an outfit together is easy with our range of beautiful, co-ordinating colours.
- The easy-care fabric needs little maintenance and wash at 40 degrees.
- Sizes range from 8 – 22.
Like so many of the start ups in the ageing space, the founder’s inspiration came from personal experience. Katie Ellis, was a fashion buyer for the High Street clothing retailer, White Stuff (and happily there’s more than a hint of White Stuff style in the collection). Katie’s grandmother had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Katie saw that dressing was becoming increasingly difficult for her. So she searched for solutions but found there was nothing that fit the bill. Hence the founding of the The Able Label.
We wish Katie and The Able Label every success and look forward to seeing more lines and designs as the business grows..