Material Exploration

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Oliver's Brief:

     The Table Walker challenges preconceived notions of walkers as purely medical devices. Walkers have been viewed as solely medical devices in the past, but this project changes that. The Table Walker is an organic-looking statement piece made out of MetaComb and Burlap composite materials with two sets of handles, one on top and one on the side, and some shelves, which are below its signature feature, the table. This hinged table folds down from of the top of the walker and uses locking supports to stay level. This table has an engraved chess board on the top so the user can play chess or checkers to interact with their friends. The Table Walker engages an issue that many older people face, which is that they can feel disconnected from the world around them. Using a walker does not help with this, as it forms a physical and mental barrier between older users and whoever they are talking to. The walker allows the user to initiate conversations since it looks so organic and futuristic. It also folds out to form a table, which lets the elderly user connect with others they invite to sit with them at the table. Our project helps the elderly person using the walker, as it allows them to connect with other people and is designed to not form a mental barrier. This walker will give the user a healthier view on life because of how they will be able to enjoy having a walker, not just as a medical device, but as an enjoyable device. This project raises the question of how people interact with the elderly, and if there is a way we can improve the lives of the elderly, leading to increased social interaction and community.

      The project is being designed for Priscilla, who feels cut off from the world by her walker, and she wants a walker that is functional as well as visually pleasing. Priscilla wants to be able to connect with other people and doesn’t feel like she can, especially with such an impersonal looking walker, like the one she currently has. It alienates her from the others at the retirement home, as none of them have a walker. Our project is a futuristic and organic looking walker with a table that folds out of it by using hinges and an axle. It also uses a folding brace to make sure it remains in the locked position. This also allows the user to eat and drink on the table without spilling anything. It also has another side that can fold out to double to the size of the table. It uses a new type of composite material inspired by MetaComb, which is cardboard stacked and glued together in a very specific way. It uses cardboard, epoxy/resin, and burlap, all laminated, to make the walker strong and light. The user tilts the walker onto its front wheels and rolls it forward a few inches. They then set it down, walk forward, and repeat until they get to where they need to go. They can then pull it up to a chair, pull the table up and push the other half over so it lies flat. This will let the user utilize the walker to its full potential.

PJ's Brief:

     A stylish walker with a fold-out table designed to help an older adult feel more socially integrated and confident despite her disability. The walker is meant to help Pricilla feel less alienated whenever she is in public, and adding in a functional use. Having a more attractive walker can make her feel much more confident. To execute this PJ and Oliver made a futuristic, curved walker that can be used as a style piece and also features a folding checkers board that can be used for tea and coffee.

     My project exists because elderly people often feel socially excluded because the things they carry with them seem so medical and ugly. It helps Pricilla and any other older adult that might want to use a more stylish walking aide. Having an attractive walker reintroduces the older generations into society in a new light. It raises the question of why did it take so long to accept these people for the disabilities they could not help. Hopefully this will start to trend and will become a standard in society for older adults to be more integrated. Pricilla will use it in her everyday life to get around the assisted living home and also whenever she chooses to enter the world. The patients name is Pricilla and she has trouble standing up. We are making the walker more stable and strong so that she can lean on it to stand up. She is somewhat self-conscious and likes to appear as a stylish person. The project has lots of rounded edges for style and a folding table that breaks in the middle for storage on the walker. It hangs on dowel between the main supports. It can be propped up to use as a tea/coffee table or also a chess board. This is innovative because previously not much medical equipment has had attractive features. By adding this,  I hope this design will help people will become comfortable with illnesses and the cycle of life.