Invisible Creations
Sheila Webster, the inspiration behind Invisible Creations, alongside a plant pot holder that the company designed.

Disability equipment supplier, Invisible Creations, is collaborating with the Royal College of Art over a project which aims to better understand how the UK’s ageing population interact with their homes and lead to the development of more attractive home adaptations that aid mobility.

The nine-month project with the Royal College of Art’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Homes That Care: Home Comforts, will explore how people aged 65 and over currently engage and experience their home environments, including the products within it.

It will aim to assess how future products, homes and environments can evolve to fit people’s current and future needs and aspirations. The project will culminate in the development of a new range of attractive and inclusive products, designed to support people to live more independently at home for longer.

According to the RCA and Invisible Creations, the current model of home adaptations is built around function and need, rather than centred on what people actually want and desire. Research by the Centre for Ageing Better revealed that there are 4.3 million non-decent homes in England, almost half of which are lived in by someone over the age of 55.

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In addition, 15 per cent of all wheelchair users live in a non-decent home. The research also shows that many people delay installing home adaptations because of their clinical appearance and negative associations with vulnerability and loss of independence.

Paul Pentelow, Head of Product Design at Invisible Creations, which produces inclusive home adaptations that aid mobility, commented that he is delighted about the new partnership.

He said: “People have been at the centre of our product design and business creation, to ensure that we create adaptations and home solutions that support mobility and dignity.

“This ground-breaking academic study will shine a light on the real-world challenges people face and will give Invisible Creations and others a foundation to truly drive great design within homes as people age or their needs change.

“The Royal College of Art’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design share our passion to Design for Dignity and this collaboration will no doubt inspire some very exciting product ideas.”

Dr Chris McGinley, Senior Research Fellow & Leader of Age & Diversity Research at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art added: “We are extremely excited to partner with Invisible Creations on this project.

“We have shared passion around challenging ageist approaches to design, and intend to develop designs that are both accessible and desirable.

“In Invisible Creations we feel we have an industry partner genuinely driven to offer alternatives to the utilitarian and stigmatising products that have been tolerated for far too long.”

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