Independent thinking: Designing beautiful objects for the visually impaired

10.12.2014 The Future Laboratory : LS:N Global : Simon Kinneir
Simon Kinneir Research Associate at The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design,The Flat Age Networking Evening 2014

London – At The Flat Age Network Evening on 4 December, LS:N Global senior journalist Rowland Manthorpe spoke to Simon Kinneir, research associate at  The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, about creating products for the visually impaired.

Kinneir’s The Leaven Range, a series of everyday kitchen products, is designed for people who have to adapt their behaviour as they cope with the transition towards sight loss, so that they can maintain their independence.

‘Sight loss is an age-related condition, so what is important in this conversation is appreciating that people will always want to maintain their sense of identity,’ said Kinneir.

Kinneir spoke about his minimalist design for a table carafe, still a prototype, that begins to tip forward as it fills, providing a subtle sensory feedback to let a user know when to stop. He also explained the design behind glassware that can be easily spotted in both bright and poor light.

The designer talked about the importance of creating products that don’t rely on assumptions, but which are human-centred and designed to meet the real, sometimes subtle, problems faced by people with impairments.

For more on The Flat Age Society, read our macrotrend. Find out what else happened at the Network Evening here.

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