The Village

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  • 2022

  • Product

Designed By:

  • Helen Kontouris

Commissioned By:

Aplos

Designed In:

Australia

The Village seating system responds to a fundamental and increasing need for Aged Care furniture to be more human-centred, bringing people together and feeling socially connected. The Village collection heightens a sense of dignity and autonomy for the residents of Aged Care facilities, optimising their sense of wellbeing and independence.


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Image: Aplos
Image: Aplos
Image: Aplos
Image: Aplos
  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • The challenge was to create an Aged care collection focused on anthropometrics based design to ensure comfort, functional autonomy, safety and dignity. The Village collection needed to be welcoming, comfortable and versatile, contributing to a sense of well-being and calm. Another challenge was designing the collection as soft and moveable way-finding structures to provide each space with a distinctive character and ensure each room and use is clearly identifiable. Allowing for adaptability within an area to reduce the need or cost for large scale “fit-out churn". The Village encourages conversation and interaction, optimising the resident's sense of belonging and independence.

  • The Village integrates anthropometric design at its foundation. We conducted on-site research within Aged Care facilities and engaged leading specialist Architects to ensure the collection provided optimal comfort, autonomy and safety. We resolved "seat slumping" resulting from aged care furniture seats being too deep, leading to slipping, falls or the inability to stand up, creating a lack of dignity. The lightweight, durable construction combined with varying foam densities ensures versatility and stability while being comfortable and incredibly easy to clean. Flexible seating models provide an opportunity for furniture way-finding structures, conversational or secluded seating solutions optimising aged care residence independence.

  • Creating a positive impact for our Aged Care facilities and residents of these facilities from a collaborative research approach for the collection's design. Involving industry experts and combining this with our design team prevented us from making assumptions. We relied on research data, anthropometrics and prototypes to test our theories and then turned those concepts into the final product. We offer a five-year warranty and post-life product stewardship. The collection is locally made in Australia, reducing carbon emissions and retaining local jobs and skills. The materials utilised are health-friendly GECA-certified materials. The timber is forest-friendly FSC timber with documented provenance.

  • The Village results from an intensive 2-year research period where we interviewed Aged Care operators and Architects to establish ways to improve the Aged Care experience. Our research into the human-centred design and ergonomics for this collection creates versatile and safe attributes. We designed and integrated safe seated depth, armrest angles, reduced leg pressure, lumbar support, seat height, and overall form, enabling residents to easily switch from sitting to standing. Research led design also informed and guided us in creating the correct dimensions that would solve issues such as unbalancing or causing a potential injury or the inability for a resident to lift themselves from the lounge whilst increasing comfort. Conceived to future-proof interior environments by fostering versatility and responding readily to the ever-evolving needs across aged care, workspaces, public seating, or education environments. With a compact 640D mm depth footprint, The Village encourages infinite freedom to explore creativity and define incredible interior spaces, creating uplifting environments to inhabit and enabling social interactions or secluded privacy. Careful consideration of design details brings together the masterfully stitched detailing, varying foam densities, creating a richly textured dimension to the collection. The Village sees creativity at its foundation, encouraging reconfiguration.