pinn- the modern cutlery for seniors.
pinn- the modern cutlery for seniors.
easy to grip
complements an existing set of cutlery
elegant eating utensil
iterative prototyping and testing led to the final result at the right
Was es macht
pinn is an eating utensil for seniors that encourages independence, social integration, and elegance. it is designed for seniors to bring back joy to eating and the social act around it while taking the stigma away from an ergonomic, "elderly" product.
visiting the local senior housing and care facility, building our own aging suit to experience the difficulties, and interviewing 80 seniors of schwäbisch gmünd, we discovered how limited senior design is; the social and practical discrimination of those with limited mobility, and the dangers of avoiding help while aging. eating, for example, becomes a chore requiring full concentration, though it remains important as a daily necessity and social occurrence, interviewees affirmed the importance of social interaction. with pinn, we hoped to create a product that everyone would like to use, taking the stigma away from an “elderly” utensil.
So funktioniert es
we focused on mobility with our design. shaking hands and weaker arms makes eating with conventional cutlery difficult. through tests, we discovered that grabbing food with tongs was far more effective than stabbing it with a fork or picking it up with a spoon, especially while shaking. this was the inspiration for our design. we also considered deteriorating strength. the crossing transition from grip to tip creates a reverse mechanism movement, meaning the tip opens when the grip is pressed. this allows the user to press only when the tip should open- while grabbing the food and placing it in their mouth. and it reduces the amount of force and precision required for eating. we design pinn’s handle for the uncoordinated. instead of laying smooth on the table, the grip angles upwards, to allow for an easy grasp. the wide, parallel grip reduces the need for precise movement, effectively making the grip palm-sized without appearing bulky.
pinn began with a lot of research, where we came across the topic of an aging population that does not have acceptable product options. for first-hand insight, we canvassed our town to hear from citizens about the pains, gains, and wishes they have in their elderly years. we also interview caretakers to identify the most common problems that their patients face regarding eating; seniors have weaker grips and shaky hands so they often avoid eating or drinking. this is extremely dangerous and can quickly lead to infection, weakness, and even death. we decided to focused on giving seniors an elegant, positive, and social eating experience. to understand the audience, we built and wore an aging suit while eating with different utensils. we tested tongs, spoons, forks, chopsticks, hands, and knives. with our shaking aging suit, and deteriorated precision, tongs were the best utensil. how could we make tongs account for a weak grip and elegant form? we brainstormed and sketched possible answers. we began our testing phase by developing 3d CAD forms, 3d printing, and self-testing them. pinn required a total of 16 iteration steps to develope the final form, which in our case, consists of lightweight PLA plastic, sanded and smoothed to be comfortable in a hand.
Warum es anders ist
when you search the web for ergonomic cutlery, you are greeted by fat-handled, strangely bent, plastic-covered utensils. these are some of the only products that seniors can buy to aid them while eating. from our research, we know that seniors say these products label them as "sick", so they refuse to use the utensils- or worse, refuse to eat at all. social events like a simple lunch with friends or family are integral to health. human interaction, healthy food, and independence while eating are the core theses of pinn. pinn makes ergonomic cutlery elegant, while using an innovative method to solve weak grip strength: a reverse action mechanism. the only strength required is to squeeze the grip when grabbing or releasing the food, otherwise the wide handle allows for a relaxed hold. with it's curved form in profile view, pinn can be easily picked up, kept sanitary, and stacked in a drawer. pinn gives gives users independance and joy while eating.
Pläne für die Zukunft
we want to give pinn a platform to inspire other designers to think outside of the box. we believe that part of the solution of elegant senior cutlery can be solved on a large scale, when many start approaching the topic and start asking "would i like to use this myself?". a hope of ours would of course be to see the solution in use and maybe find a partner to further explore, develop and market pinn.