KONO - Designing for Elderly with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Empathic design processes, aesthetics and materials, in context exploration, human values.
“Active and Healthy Ageing” is a trending topic with our global society facing a big shift in age composition. The aim is to create innovations that contribute to a broader concept of well-being in the ageing process. The graduation project KONO focused on elderly with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) due to its heavy impact ones quality of daily life.
In my graduation project, I challenged myself with an intensive exploration into the subject and context through interviews, empathic design methods, and engaging elderly inside the retirement home. From inclusive design principles, I aimed to design a product that uses therapeutic and playful incentives to establish a meaningful role in the lifeworld of the elderly.
KONO embodies the concept of comfort holistically through complementary features such as thermal therapy, atmospheric lighting, and materiality. Heat helps alleviating symptoms of RA such as pain and swelling in the joints. The cherry seeds entice fine motor skills to train hand dexterity while retaining heat. KONO provides distraction and comfort at times the user experiences discomfort at any time in the day.