News Column

Robert Gordon University - Easy lift chair inspired by UK's ageing population

July 1, 2014



ENP Newswire - 01 July 2014

Release date- 27062014 - A Huntly design student has developed an innovative product to make it easier for elderly people to get out of a chair.

Sean McWilliam (21), who is studying Product Design at Gray's School of Art, has created a special frame, which sits under the cushion of a chair or sofa and allows the person to tilt gently forward to aid standing up.

The former Gordon Schools pupil explained: 'All that is visible is two arms that have handles attached. As the user holds onto the handles and leans a little forward, the curvature of the design takes over and allows them to tilt forward.

'The gradual curve on the product turns into a flat which acts as a stopping point and means the product does not over-rotate. By this point the user will be able to reach their walking aid if need be and get up from the chair.'

The inspiration for Sean's product, which will be on display as part of Gray's School of Art Degree Show until Saturday, June 28, came after he was involved in an earlier project with the charity Sue Ryder to design tables and tools to help care home residents.

He said: 'I thoroughly enjoyed the project and decided on looking at another way in which design can improve the lives of others. I kept reading in the news about the ageing population, which made me think about the issues currently affecting the elderly - with the increasing population of over 65s the problems are bound to grow.'

Sean added: 'I wanted to help improve the freedom and independence of the elderly by allowing them to get out of a chair using minimal effort and with little to no help. Getting out of a chair was seen as a major issue when I visited care homes as the carers were constantly being called to help the residents.

'I am extremely happy with the product as it works well although, as with anything, there are some areas I believe could be worked on to give the optimum lift with no effort. The product was refined and developed over a number of months and I feel that the current structure of the frame is the best it can be.'

Sean, who aims to go on to work in the oil and gas industry as a design engineer after graduating, said: 'I've found my time at Gray's very enjoyable, especially the client lead briefs and the final semester of my honours year project as I became a lot more confident in the workshop.'

The 2014 Degree Show, sponsored by BP for the eleventh year, runs until Saturday, June 28 at Gray's School of Art, Garthdee.


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Source: ENP Newswire


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