Shakers for Seniors

The Shakers were a millenarian restorationist Christian sect founded in 18th century in England. Their communities were largely self-sufficient, socially progressive and believed in racial and sexual equality, pacifism and common property.

Shaker furniture makers focused on overall form and proportions. The exquisitely simple and functional shaker furniture introduced the people to a design very different from the contemporary idiom. Both room and furniture were a refreshing change from the fussy and overstuffed living spaces of the time.

Arrestingly a pegboard runs around the room to suspend objects from the floor for more efficient storage and daily cleaning routines. This can be taken as an efficient example of conceptualizing a living space for seniors.  
A functional line at the height of 85cm is the typical height of handrails running through public spaces in such buildings as nursing homes and hospitals.  Research shows, however, that the risk of falling for seniors and people with physical disabilities is highest at home or in their living space. Drawing from the shakers and this contemporary research, my project extends the functional line from the corridor and public space into the private living space, combining handrails and minimalist functional furniture on to the same system.  With the furniture now raised from the ground, the height is easily reachable for seniors/disabled people and the cleaning for the rest of the room can be more efficiently done.