The result of the i-SIT project showed that furniture manufacturers have not traditionally included customers in product and design development but that a great deal of knowledge can be obtained from them.
The i-Sit project, under the Danish Government's Programme for User-Driven Innovation, (Regeringens Program for Brugerdreven Innovation) focuses the spotlight on user-driven innovation in the furniture and textile industries and an extensive study of the area included senior citizens, with and without disabilities.
i-SIT invites end-users to take part in the design process
For those of 50+ who want to buy furniture to relax in that fulfils the need for suitable height, stability and support, etc., and also lives up to aesthetic demands, there is very little choice on the market apart from the "Otium-stole" (The Retirement Chair).
"The Otium-Stole" signals old age," as one of the users from the project study expresses it. It is an old-fashioned chair that is connected in the minds of senior citizens with illness, old age, aid facilities and nursing homes. Instead, they want something attractive and functional that fits in with the rest of the furniture at home.
The i-SIT project involves turning users' conscious and unconscious needs into Design-for-All furniture that prioritises functionality as well as intangible elements.
The challenge of interdisciplinary collaboration
The goal of the i-SIT project is to create a model that cuts across industries and creates interdisciplinary collaboration that will provide companies with new insight and an exchange of knowledge and tools.
The project's partners are Magnus Olesen from the Development Centre for Furniture and Wood, the Knowledge Centre for Intelligent Textiles, Bexcom, Design Concern and Gabriel.