Oficina do Cuidar (roughly translated as The Caring Shop, as in workshop) is a furniture brand, specialized in solutions for the elderly, people with low mobility, and other special needs.
It is an ongoing project with the ArqGraphics architecture studio, that hopefully will become it's own separate brand. The initial intent is to produce furniture for hospitals and for the homes of the end user. It all started when we notived a lack of these products made in quality in Brazil, and having very high prices for similar imported ones.
I helped creating the strategy, the branding, and finally the furniture itself. Right now we are starting to prototype some of it, and preparing the ground for building our business.
Year - 2020
Client - ArqGraphics
Roles - Strategy + Visual + Industrial design
We identified this new market segment we could explore, so I created a strategy that would solve two main problems that came with it:
_current standard furniture is not designed with the special needs of the elderly or people with low mobility;
_solutions for these needs are often too mechanical and hard to integrate with the homes and lives of those who need seamlessly;
To do so, I had to look at the different places the furniture (and brand) would be inserted, and blend different attributes from these different systems.
Although chronologically it all took place at the same time, I eanted to finalize the brand first, to have a better idea of our purpose and how we would present ourselves in the market. The process was pretty straight forward, I gathered come references and built some moodboards, created some options and picked one with other professionals.
Overall, I wanted do create an identity that was sober enought to convey something health oriented, but also had the warmth of the human touch.
>The first furniture line
After a few months of desk research, some interviews and field observations, I had enought to start designing the furniture itself. The main challange was to keep it simple enought that the process would be cheap, and therefore making the furniture more accessible.
It was very interesting to take solutions for the end user needs (some already being used, some not so much) and blend them together, creating an interesting, yet stylish look, that would become a stamp of the brand.
In falling cases, sharp edges are very dangerous, generating pressure points that can cause serious injuries. Rounded corners on furniture are essential to avoid these types of complications.
Furniture that "camouflages" itself with the floor and walls can become an obstacle for those with impaired vision. The color contrast helps in the perception of the furniture, visually highlighting it in the environment.
Pulling handles are easier for people with weakened hand motor functions to use.
Easily cleaning furniture surfaces is important for both practicality and health. That is why we use materials that are easy to clean, such as waterproof fabrics and lacquer finishes.
Power outlets in low places and behind furniture are often inaccessible. Socket boxes on the surfaces of furniture bring autonomy and practicality to the user.
Very deep and low seats require more effort from the user when seating and standing up. The dimensions adapted in the furniture facilitate these difficult movements.
The handles on the arms of the chairs, armchairs and sofa help the user to perform more difficult movements, such as pulling the chair when seating and projecting the trunk forward when standing.
easily accessible drawers
power socket + magazine pocket
night lights + removable tray + fixed side table variant
hidden tray + cup holder