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Date: 26.09.2011
From: Stephanie Smith

Subject: Looking for help, designing kitchen aids!

Hello everyone! I'm a sixth form student at a school in the north of England, and for my Product Design A Level course I've decided to make a small range of products to help people suffering with arthritis get some independence back. I'd like to make a) a tool to aid opening jars and bottle-tops; b) something that fits in the palm to allow some pressure on surfaces when dusting and washing up; and c) a device that allows things like mugs, pans and kettles have two handles, so they're easier to lift and grip.

I'd LOVE to know what features you'd give these products to make simple tasks a little easier. A side from having a chunky design with an easy-grip material, what other traits would be useful?

Thanks very much for your help, any replies would be hugely appreciated.

Take care! :)
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Date: 28.09.2011
From: Julia

Subject: Re: Looking for help, designing kitchen aids!

Hi Stephanie. If you could contact your local occupational therapy department they could probably give you some ideas or attend a local arthritis support group and chat to members as it would probably be easier to explain ideas face to face (and show extra effort and more brownie points for your research section :-)x ) With regards to idea C, I'd say that you need to also make sure that the device is also easy to attach/detach. Good luck, we'll look out for you on the dragon's den. X
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Date: 28.09.2011
From: davina

Subject: Re: Looking for help, designing kitchen aids!

hi stephanie regarding idea a) i think what ever it maybe make sure its light in weight and not to much movement for the wrist.

hope all goes well for you.
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Date: 04.10.2011
From: Caroline Jephcott

Subject: Re: Looking for help, designing kitchen aids!

Hi there,
Well I have had arthritis since I was 15 mths old and I want to say, please make the item funky, I absolutely hate disabled aids, they look so "idiot alert" ish, big bulky nasty design. So if you are making something think IKEA, please, oh please! We need more young trendy designers for disabled aids! Really pleased you are doing this!

I think rubber is a good material, for the purpose of your A-level project just wack a bright paint over it hahaha, but always good to stick in your write up that young people are disabled too and hate the rubbish design of old biddy aids. Rubber is light for wonky hands and yet really grips stuff,perhaps foam, look in Hobby Craft. Discrete is fab, when I was at uni I wanted something I could hide in my cutlery drawer rather than a great big clumpy thing that sat on worktops screaming look at the creaky person!

My brother did the same A-level as you because he used to have a good laugh at some of the aids I was given and how quickly I would reject them, so he started making things with lego haha. There is an idea, a mug made of lego, could have two handles but how cool would that look and it would be light weight, might need to think about how you would stop it leaking though haha. My husband and I have poor grip and have just purchased lego knives and forks, we were having pushed on us, god awful foam encased cutlery in NHS grey! We just thought these would be embarrassing in front of our well mates. Our lego cutlery looks like a kitchen wear choice rather than actually easy to hold!

Think young person, IKEA and put bandages on your hands making sure you put lots of layers between thumb and fingers then you can have a play about with how it is to have arthritic hands and that will help you come up with ideas.

Hope this is some help.

Carrie

My Blog- http://disabledpositiveparent.blogspot.com/
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Date: 04.10.2011
From: marlene

Subject: Re: Looking for help, designing kitchen aids!

Some Old Biddy's like modern funky stuff as well!!!!!!
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Date: 05.10.2011
From: Dilizjo

Subject: Re: Looking for help, designing kitchen aids!

This old biddy certainly does! As Caroline says the foam cutlery is unsightly and I also feel that the handles are a breeding ground for bacteria.

Good creating, I hope you do well
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Date: 05.10.2011
From: Caroline Jephcott

Subject: Re: Looking for help, designing kitchen aids!

Hehehe ok true true guys hehe just being cheeky I know x
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