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Jul 31 2018

Design for everyone - a growing market

The design approach "Design for everyone" means furniture and items that can be used by people of all ages barrier-free and which also look good. There is a growing market for such universally usable products, which designers, manufacturers and distributors can also profit from.

The principle "Design for everyone" is not just about accessibility, but also about human diversity: Products that are developed according to this principle are distinguished by their extremely easy and convenient usage as well as by their nice design. They have the potential of being used by many more customers - by children as well as by their grandparents, by people with and without disabilities.

 "The aim is to create our environment so that it is possible for all people to partake in it," said Mathias Knigge, CEO and founder of grauwert - an office in Hamburg for inclusion and demography-resistant solutions. He is the co-author of the survey "Design for everyone in everyday practice - a guideline for companies".

Instead of developing special solutions for only a few user groups, explained Knigge, the aim is to create attractive offers for wide target groups. "The best example here is the walk-in shower that one associates with wellness and luxury today rather than as a special product for wheelchair users or elderly people."

How does "Design for everyone" work?

In principle, only attractive products have a chance on the market because emotions play a big role in most of the buying decisions. This is why in the case of furniture and interior items that are designed in line with the motto "Design for everyone", the emphasis should be on positive added value and this should be clearly communicated.

It is decisive for the success that the universal approach is taken into account from the very beginning and in all of the processes of the product design and subsequent marketing. It has to be understood by all of the company's employees and consistently carried by them, because a half-hearted implementation would be recognised by the customer and less successful.

What do the customers expect?

Through surveys, product tests, simulations or the use of check lists one finds out more about the wishes and expectations of potential customers. Based on these cognitions practical products for a wide spectrum of customers can be developed, which in turn also leads to increased sales figures.

At the same time it is possible to satisfy the demands of different customer groups with one design. This was only possible so far with several products or versions. In other words: Companies that take "Design for everyone" seriously, can slim down their range of products and simplify the production. 

The "Design for everyone" principle should be designed in such a way that...

  •  it is simple and safe to use
  • it can be adapted to suit individual needs
  • the expectations of the users are taken into account
  • they display a high aesthetic quality
  • their added value is obvious and is communicated

"Hold" and "Seat" by Mormor

A firm grip on everything. Mormor's furniture can be used by all generations, it is barrier-free and yet also inventive. For example the table "Hold" becomes a reliable support in everyday life thanks to a handrail around the entire tabletop and because of its non-tilt, robust style. Its companion, the stable and comfortably upholstered stool "Seat" is equipped with grip bars that are inspired by the grip bars in buses and trains. As a well-designed duo it is a true eye-catcher that fits into every environment.

"Credo Plus" by Kermi

The heater series "Credo Plus" places the focus on user-oriented design. The thermostat that is usually located near the floor is positioned in the middle of the radiator and thus easier to operate. The formal integration of the operating button thus becomes a central design element and consciously demonstrates the claim of "Universal Design". Furthermore, the flat frame has an elegant effect and offers plenty of room for drying or warming towels.

"Flex" by bugbad

The name also describes the function - "Flex" offers a multitude of functions which help simplify daily usage for all ages. The new product system comprises of different modules of a systematic nature. A frame forms the basis, which through a hanging mechanism can be equipped with a washbasin, mirror, panels and cupboards. The manifold possible uses offers the user individual and needs-oriented design leeway for a wide range of situations in life.

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