Tactile control systems for inclusive design – Industrial Design MA; Hannah Carter-Brown

Tactile controls

During the final year of her UG Product Design course at Sheffield Hallam University, Hannah undertook a project designing a kettle for the Visually Impaired. She found this a very rewarding project so it wasn’t a hard decision when she was choosing the focus for her MA, the most important part of which (and her reason to be a designer) is to improve someone’s quality of life and put human-centered design at the heart of the design process.

In order to accommodate for an ageing population, inclusive design will have to become a bigger consideration in the design and manufacturing of everyday products. Hannah’s project aims to explore this idea of inclusive design so that as people grow older and start to loose the abilities they once had, they won’t have to change their lifestyle or spend huge amounts of money on assistive technology, because the product(s) they already have will adapt to their new needs. The product(s) therefore should take into account the needs of a variety of users.

We take a lot of things for granted eg. ‘simple’ common products in Developed countries such as an oven/hob controls. We learn what symbols mean and how products work, but what would happen if you couldn’t see as well as you do now or you were born without your sight?

Hannah is investigating how control systems on ovens/hobs can become more tactile and allow people to maintain their independence in their own home throughout the ageing process and / or the development of a sensory impairment. Hannah is particularly focusing on users with visual impairments but considering the needs of other sensory impairments as well.

Project updates

Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University,
Furnival Building, 153 Arundel Street, Sheffield, S1 2NU
Phone 0114 225 6753 | Fax 0114 225 6931