A Final Year Design Project - Goldsmith's College - A 'design dissertation' submitted as part of the work for the London B.Ed. degree
The first problem was to find suitable problems to solve, and this involved observation in environments where it seemed likely that they would occur. I first went to a railway station, and one problem that was apparent was that of getting a push-chair (with the child in it) up and down steps. However, before making a decision, I thought of other situations where problems seemed likely, and visited the hospital at New Cross in South-East London.
The visits I made were to a geriatric ward, and I took notes, made sketches, and spoke to doctors and nurses. From my initial observations and enquiries, problems concerning eating, washing and storage were most evident, and all had both physical and psychological aspects. The physical problems were those concerning the proximity of storage space to the patient, the need for somewhere to rest trays whilst eating meals. The particular overbed tables at the hospital were too high and did not take into account specific disabilities of patients, so trays had to be put on the bed by the side of the patients or across their knees. Similarly, whilst washing, the patient had to rest the bowl on the edge of the bed causing a series of difficulties. It was also evident that used washing bowls or crockery had to be left on the bed by the patient until the nurse had time to collect them.