Topic and Direction
I started off with a very broad design challenge – lighting which helps to integrate people and cultivates relationships.
I focused my research on items that hold significant emotional value, are a place to store memories and are personalised. Things and places where we store memorabilia connected to the ones we love.
Sentimentalism has a much bigger impact on us than aesthetics. An important feature of a sentimental-focused object is the possibility of personalisation; personalisation going much deeper than just the choice of colour or finish, but actually letting you create and redefine the object whilst using it.
In addition, older people require approximately 4 times more light than younger ones in order to see clearly and function independently.
Creating a solution for seniors, it is important to bear in mind three important aspects: communication, mobility and routine. They are the building blocks of connectedness - the opposite of social isolation.
Searching for the right form
It's important to keep in mind that designing for seniors shouldn't lead us to solutions that are explicitly associated with old people, because it can be stigmatising. We can design something senior-centered but the result should be something that could be used by all age groups.
Modern lifestyle is fast paced. We regularly change our place of living. During relocation we often discard furniture that is difficult to move. An important goal for me was to propose a solution that is easy to disassemble, is light in weight, and is repairable.
Lokator is a lamp that lets people store their memories in a visible place. The red elastic bands have an ornamental role, but also act as a kind of card- or photo-holder. In this respect, the lamp becomes highly personalised. It has a dynamically changing look, depending on the user.
The simple design means it is easy to repair. The joint can be produced on a 3d printer at minimal cost.
It's important to cultivate strong family bonds throughout one's whole life, and one's environment should support that. Elderly people are often lonely in old age, often as the result of the death of a partner or the lack of close relationships with siblings. It's important to keep positive reminders and positive memories nearby, because this encourages healthier family relationships.
This project was an assignment at the Innovative Design Studio at the Industrial Design Department, Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków.
Supervisors: Prof. Jan Bożyk, mgr Maciej Własnowolski.