While volunteering at the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH), a Singaporean design student Kevin Chiam was puzzled by the numerous scars on the hands and arms of one of its members, Ms Rosie Wong.
“I realised that cooking was one of the more challenging tasks (for them) … There’s this fear of getting cut, injured or scalded by hot water or hot surfaces.”
Through months of  interviews and observations to better understand users’ pain points, he found cooking is challenging for the blind due to the lack of sensory references, they have to cope with the uncertainties of spills or injuries like knife cuts or burns. To overcome the steep learning curve, his Folks kitchenware collection aims to leverage on natural, sensory feedback and tactile cues such that they can prepare food safely with confidence and dignity.

For example, he designed a special set of kitchen utensils  including a knife, a chopping board and a stove ring to  help them gain tool confidence,
a retractable guard on the knife serves as a physical anchor and guides the fingers to avoid direct blade contact. It also allows the blind to clean off any food that is stuck on the blade with a simple trigger. Chopping Board The side tray, which pegs freely on the sides of the board, acts as an extension of the hand to gather and efficiently transfer ingredients with less spillage. Teaspoon Used in any cup or mug, the spoon’s integrated buoy floats when liquid is added to lower the risk of scalds or burns.

FOLKS kitchenware draft

Kevin Chiam wishes his design can serve as a conversation between people and the encompassing environment.

As a winner of the James Dyson Award 2018, Kevin starts thinking bigger and looks forward to optimising those products for a small scale production and launch the collection through social organisations like Project Dignity in Singapore.

Source of Information:

channel news asia

Kevin Chiam website

James Dyson Awards

Photo Source: Kevin Chiam website

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