The Act of Eating, the most natural and simplest everyday task and something that we all do without giving it much thought. Unfortunately, this simple activity comes with a lot of difficulties for some members of our society. I am talking about people who have limited arm and hand movement like the elderly, people with Alzeimer’s or Pakinson’s disease and many more. These people have to rely on extra help to feed them and this adds to their feeling of being dependant and not able to survive on their own.
In the realm of kitchenware, I wanted to focus on this group, as along with creating beautiful objects, I also wanted to solve a long existing problem. This project was much appreciated by Mr. Sebastian Conran and the final protoypes were made at the studio of Sebastian Conran Associates with the potential of manufacturing it in UK for a client.
The problems with the current products available in the market are-
When I started making paper models, I realised that maybe the circular shape of the plate can be a problem as they have to chase the found all along the edge. So, I took this idea for a walk and tested with different shapes for plates.
To my surprise a trapezoidal shape worked well at it made it easier to pull food towards the eater so I continued developing more prototypes along the same lines.
To strengthen my approach I asked myself the question, “Why do plates have to be circular”?
Back in the day all plates were made on potter’s wheels and therefore it made sense to have them all round. Its also ergonomic to hold a round plate in your hand as it balances the weight equally.
But the manufacturing systems have changed; we now have slip casting for ceramics and many types of injection moulding techniques for plastics that can produce many different shapes. And since we sit on tables and eat, comfortably holding a plate is not even an issue anymore.
Thus, Trapeaze was born.
Trapeaze is an ergonomic plate designed to ease out the act of eating. Specially created for the people who have limited arm and hand movement like the elderly, people with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease etc, its contemporary form can attract people from all sectors. It special features aid the activity and gives its users a sense of freedom and self- dependence.
I am still working on more finished prototypes at Sebastian Conran Associates’s facilities as it could potentially be manufactured by one of their clients who focus on making ergonomic products for the same demographic. The final plate will be slip- casted stoneware and manufactured in the UK.