Let the good times roll | Bachelorarbeit 2019
The walker - an object that is essential to the life of many, yet viewed as unattractive and distasteful. An observer can feel the conflicting emotions of pity and disgust while watching the heavy and tottery constructions being pushed around. Many users feel shame and frustration associated with these necessary, but often dysfunctional and unappealing objects. This stigmatisation stands in contrast with the rising demand for walkers due to baby boomers entering the retirement stage, increasingly longer life expectancy and the high purchasing power held by sixty-somethings. “Let the good times roll” takes on this issue and researches alternative approaches to existing walkers. The goal is to challenge the current perception of the walker and its users by rethinking its functionality and aesthetics: How can its design be more centered around its users needs? How can the interaction be uncomplicated and intuitive? How can it’s appearance be made engaging and pleasant instead of shameful? “Let the good times roll” distances itself from the shiny metal and cheap plastic parts that characterize the clinical and overly technical look of standard walker models. Key of the design is the reworked folding mechanism, which gives the walker a more minimal and clean identity. The mechanical components that are usually attached additively all over the frame are integrated into the central joint, so the user is seeing only elements to interact with, such as buttons, flaps and levers. The color choices further highlight these parts to make their use guided and inviting. Furthermore, the construction allows for potential individualizations. The project is designed to enable satisfying, joyful interactions with an object that has long been neglected.
B. Schmitz, H. Neumann, S. Herm