High demands from the health sector have always strongly influenced the general design of assistive products and will continue to do so. But a clear tendency is emerging in the industry; designers are to a greater extent drawing the user into focus and wish to challenge the conventional status quo in the field of usability and design.
On our quest to find examples of new and highly interesting cooperations between designer and user, we came across a designer who is inspired by none other than his own grand mother. He addressed the questions, which a lot of users of assistive devices often ask the industry:
- Why are all the products so industrial?
- Why is everything made of molded plastic and aluminum?
- Why do all the products look so sterile?
These questions were also addressed during the 9th international conference “Innovation and Creativity for Economy” kicked off 31st of March 2016, in Warsaw Poland. This year’s theme was Social Innovation In Industrial Design. One of the introductory speakers was the Danish designer and artisan, Anker Bak, who has a clear vision of bridging the gap between the rehabilitation product industry and Scandinavian furniture design.
At the conference, Anker Bak spoke about how he draws upon the Danish Design Traditions to transform this knowledge into new products under the concept of Assistive Furniture, without compromising on function and aesthetics. He shared his main principles of the user as the center of attention as a storyteller and the designer as facilitator, and how new life situations, new needs and new requirements create a new market opportunity for both business people and designers.
Over the past few years, Anker Bak has drawn a lot of attention to his design and his visions. Especially the introduction of his crutch, The PointAid MB, which is made in one single piece of moulded wood, has been positively noticed. It provides stability and has a moulded rolling foot, which ensures a cushioning-effect to reduce hand- and shoulder pain.