PriestmanGoode’s Scooter For Life encourages older people to stay active for longer

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by Alice Morby, Dezeen, January 12, 2017

The Scooter For Life was commissioned for the New Old exhibition at London’s Design Museum, which explores how designers can enhance people’s day-to-day experiences in later life. It is a product that not only supports older people as their mobility decreases, but also encourages them to stay physically active for longer. The scooter was designed by London studio PriestmanGoode to make it easier for people with limited mobility to get around.

To increase stability, the prototype has two larger wheels at the front and a smaller third wheel at the back. It only moves when the brakes are released. A basket at the front operates as a shopping trolly, while an optional seat and electric power mode takes strain off users when they are less able to walk.

The fold-down adaptable design is based on a micro scooter – an object Priestman describes as “ubiquitous” in many of today’s families, but that older people are rarely seen with. “At some stage, people stop using them,” he said. “This may be because of stigma, safety concerns or simply the fact that older generations have not had scooters before, which creates a barrier to late adoption.”Many of the users we spoke to thought that current solutions felt like having one foot in the grave,” PriestmanGoode co-founder Paul Priestman said, “so we wanted to design something that was both beautiful as well as highly practical.”

This article is most interesting in the way it makes products for older adults more beautiful. Often, products that cater to seniors feel sterile and medical. This is partly due to the number of seniors being cared for in medical institutions like nursing homes and senior centers. However, rarely do nursing homes actually feel like a home. Most often, they resemble hospitals. I agree with the approach PriestmanGoode made to create a mobility device that was more respectful. I doubt that the scooter would actually be a safe and feasible mobility device for most older adults, but I agree with the styling choices made by the company.