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Designers and Techies Come Together and Innovate Solutions for Assist Active Aging

Designathon is an event, which was held for the first time ever in Singapore, hosting a space where the design and tech worlds could converge.

This event was organised by DesignSingapore Council and had the aim of coming up with designs to enhance the experience of aging. It was held over a period of two days at the National Design Centre.

It brought together design professionals and students, infocomm technology developers, and healthcare specialists to design solutions around the theme “Living Beautifully: Designing for our Golden Years”.

Thirty-three teams were organised from a total of 170 participants. With their simple yet effective solutions, which married familiar objects with new technology, the winning NUS team stood out amongst the competition.

One of their innovations was a stylish air cushion that promotes micro exercise movement for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

The constant motion assists the elderly to be more aware of their posture while strengthening core muscles and lumbo-pelvic control. A pocket of air also a helps them in getting up from their seats by gently propelling them forward.

The other innovation is an activity calendar app called Boleh. Simply put, it aims to encourage the elderly to participate in community events.

In addition, with both tangible and digital interfaces, their designs mimic the traditional calendar of yesteryears, complete with cut-out discount coupons.

The last design features a seat cushion which uses a pulley system to aid the elderly in putting on trousers. It also featured as a collapsible shopping bag attached to the armrest by Velcro, allowing them to shop independently.

Guest-of-Honour Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim presented the awards to the winners at the end of the Design-athon.

“Design can be an effective approach for addressing societal issues and delivering better services for the community. I am happy to see so many teams comprising designers, design students, technology experts and healthcare specialists coming together to create innovative design solutions to help our elderly live better,” he stated.  

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