Eatwell (Assistive Tableware Set) by Sha Yao
2016 - 2017, Golden A' Differently Abled and Seniors' Assistance Design Award Winner
Inspired by my late grandmother who had Alzheimer's, I devoted myself to creating innovative products to help seniors in need by improving their quality of life. Through one-on-one observation and networking with professional caretakers in the senior industry, I was able to identify and define the most common problems people with dementia may have. The Eatwell Assistive Tableware Set was developed after 2 and a half years of extensive research and iterative design. Every design detail and decision can be traced back to a discovery that was made during the process.
The Eatwell Assistive Tableware Set uses a bright, solid two-color tone design specifically selected to stimulate thirst and appetite, and reduce visual confusion based on scientific research. Each set includes a unique combination of over 20 assistive features, including slanted basins, angled sidewalls, expanded rims, ergonomic handles, anti-tip and anti-slip structures. These features are integrated into a single, matched tableware set that collectively shortens and simplifies eating and drinking motions, increases handling comfort, prevents spills and tipped vessels, thereby allowing increased independence in its user and and reducing caregiving burdens.
Design Challenges
I am not a senior and had to become very knowledgeable about the disease before I could really even begin to design something for this purpose. In addition, it was sometimes a challenge to get feedback from people who actually have cognitive impairment. I did one-on-one observation as test users used early mock-ups and prototypes, and talked to many caregivers, professionals, to get feedback and to keep revising the design. There are many things that were taken into consideration. The color, the size, the shape, the usage. I tried to break down all of the smaller problems people with these challenges may have and to address each of those problems through my design. For example, the bottom of the bowls are slanted to allow the users to gather food on one side of the bowl naturally, to make scooping easier. One side of the bowls is right angled and is designed to help collect the food into the spoon more easily Both spoon heads are designed to match the curvature of the bowls too, so the natural curves of the bowl can act as a guide for scooping The handle of the spoon is designed to match the natural arc of the hand while holding a spoon.
Production Technology
The set is dishwasher safe, microwave safe, BPA, Phthalate, and PVC free. It has passed FDA and EU testing as well. The set is made out of PP, TPE, silicone, and stainless steel. To keep the color scheme design, we use two molds to cast two PP parts and over-molded these two parts together to make the main body of a bowl in two colors. We over-molded the third part in TPE as the base of the bowl to make it anti-spill. We also use PP over-mold TPE to make the two cups. We use stainless steel for the head and neck of the spoons to prevent cracking. To add some weight to the spoons, we embed the base of the stainless steel spoon in a silicon handle.
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