“There is a lot to consider when designing furniture for senior citizens,” says SPECIFURN coordinator Josef Bartak of Form, in the Czech Republic. “We need to closely consider elderly people’s special needs, particularly their reduced mobility, but also other differences compared to younger members of the population.” The new designs were based on in-depth research and considerable accumulated experience among the partners.
Form, along with partners Addesign Furniture, also from the Czech Republic, and Germany’s Fidura Capital Consult, aimed to design a complete set of furniture, including wardrobe and other storage furniture, chairs and couches of varying comfort levels, bedroom furniture, a table and kitchen furniture. Chairs fell into three categories, including standard chairs and semi-armchairs, chairs with changeable positions, and armchairs with extensive features. Special features include better availability and visibility of stored items, rubberised or elastic handholds on lower furniture and wardrobes, insuring maximum safety when moving as well as passive protection against possible falls. New designs include removable upholstery for easy cleaning, suitable shaping of arm handles, and innovative mechanisms for changing furniture configuration.An expanding market
“A firm of our size could not have afforded such an extensive programme of research and development without the help of EUREKA,” says Bartak. “We have achieved some remarkable results thanks to the important support we received.” Bartak says the new SPECIFURN designs have already been well received, making a big impact at MOBITEX 2007, a major trade fair that took place this year in Brno, in the Czech Republic. “The new furniture is unique in terms of its coherent approach to a complex series of problems associated with the aged.”
Sally Horspool | alfa
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