Professor Paul Chamberlain and Lab4Living awarded ‘Most Innovative Design for Ageing in the UK’ at the UK Over 50s Housing Awards 2017

Composite image - Inclusive bathroom design by Vitra, Vitra logo, Lab4Living logo and UK Over 50s Housing Award 2017 logo

Lab4Living, the interdisciplinary research cluster at Sheffield Hallam University which draws together researchers across design, creative practice and health, has been awarded the ‘Most Innovative Design for Ageing in the UK’ in 2017. The Awards Secretariat of the UK Over 50s Housing Awards 2017 made the final decision adjudicating the Award, which is for the adaption of the bathroom for older generations as a collaboration between Sheffield Hallam University and VitrA, the Turkish bathroom specialists. The focus of the award is the booklet ‘Inclusive Bathroom Design, As We Age’ which contains guidelines and considerations for the adaption of the bathroom for older generations. Professor Paul Chamberlain and Designer Heath Reed accepted the award at a ceremony on 13 November 2017 on behalf of the ADRC and VitrA team who collaborated on the project for over one year. The guide contains many insights and recommendations, from bathroom layout to lighting considerations to product selection advice.

Image of Paul Chamberlain and Heath Reed at the UK Over 50s Housing Awards 2017

An ageing population demands innovative solutions to support independence at home for people living with long-term health conditions or disabilities. This publication, based on research carried out by Lab4Living considers a range of physical factors and cognitive changes associated with ageing to provide guidelines for inclusive bathroom design. These factors, such as strength, dexterity or hearing, have informed understanding of the changing role and function of bathrooms as populations age and their needs and desires evolve. The guide suggests inclusive and aesthetically pleasing solutions to accessible and adaptable bathrooms that are also family-friendly.

The research behind the guidelines directly involved older people from local communities in Sheffield who helped identify the challenges of bathroom use that come about in later life.

The remit of the Awards, created by the UK Over 50s Housing Weekly News is to celebrate and reward excellence in the UK Over 50s housing sector. The philosophy behind the Awards is to give recognition to efforts to advance profitability/surplus of all industry sectors and reward those who lift and enhance via innovation the customer experience/enjoyment. You can find out more about the Awards here.

Read more about the joint guide published by SHU and VitrA about inclusive bathroom design here.

Professor Paul Chamberlain is a Professor of Design, Co-Director of C3RI at Sheffield Hallam University, Head of the Art & Design Research Centre and Co-Director of Lab4Living.

Heath Reed works with the Art & Design Research Centre and Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University.