A productive session leading to two new designs being investigated for potential production took place on 4th May 2016. The ALL INN project hosted Doability, a Leeds based independent living aids retailer and manufacturer, in a pop-up event at Leeds Beckett University.
The purpose of the session was to develop a prototype door handle opener for people with reduced grip, as those currently on the market don’t always fit the bill. We brought people together from a variety of backgrounds, including people with arthritis or reduced grip, Occupational Therapists (OTs) from Assisted Living Leeds and students, some working on placement with Doability and using computer aided design (CAD) skills, and some from Leeds Beckett’s Product Design course.
After introductions and setting out of aims, Clive from Doability showed the 3D printer in action, as the intention is to use the 3D printer to create a prototype of any finalised design so volunteers can test them before they go into production.
Next we looked at existing solutions, and then worked as a group on determining what problems people had and what might be a solution. People with reduced grip and arthritis shared their everyday experiences whilst we took notes and came up with a list of requirements and features needed in the finished product.
After a lunch break we split into two mixed groups of potential product users and product designers.. Using rough modelling, sketching and CAD each group co-designed a product, coming up with two different, yet novel, solutions.
Everyone found the session to be informative and useful, particularly Doability having two new designs to progress. The students enjoyed getting experience of working with intended end users of their designs and a co-design process, and people with reduced grip and arthritis were happy to learn more about the process of design and contribute their experience in influencing the design of suitable products for the future that will enable people to live better, more independent, lives.
Watch this space for updates on the new design and feedback from the user testing. If you would like to be involved in future development of a product, or want an in-depth look at a particular issue or health need to inform your product development then please contact Suzanne on 07584 581 656 or Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org