What is most disconcerting about a diagnosis of Parkinson’s is the sense of helplessness and lack of control it imparts on the patient...
I have always been interested in design with strong social and ethical application. After stumbling upon a Facebook page for ‘Shake it up, a foundation that promotes awareness for issues surrounding Parkinson’s disease, I researched the symptoms of sufferers accompanied by current research detailing how the brain is affected by this illness. After consulting neuroscientists and organisations (and after a lot of rejection) I then discovered a niche gap in the market for cooking appliances that inspired the idea to create a kitchen tool. The issues surrounding available products were automatically apparent, reiterating the need for a product that would be safe for the use of patients, but also aesthetically pleasing to a large audience, taking away the stigma of using a product for disability purposes.
My aim then became to design and develop a kitchen device that would allow patients to gain independence and safe use of food related tools. This aims to eradicate common feelings of frustration, loss of dignity and social isolation. Although a simple project, I truly feel that the design holds enormous importance for its user and their outlook on the disease.
Whilst designing and creating my kitchen aid for Parkinson's suffers I discovered it was also applicable to the elderly or young children learning to cook. The product, at its core, aims to provide stability and eliminate cause for injury. Anyone can use it!
I have provided a simplified step by step guide referencing how to construct your own kitchen aid at home. However, basic tools are required for this construction, including a saw, drill, ruler, PVA, router, clamps and file.