Inspired by OXO’s innovative and award-winning ‘Good Grips’ designs which deliver solutions that make everyday living easier, our A Level Design pupils put their own problem solving and creative skills to the test as they redesigned household products for people who suffer with arthritis.

Pupils looked at a range of items including scissors, hammers and cheese graters and were challenged to improve the design so that they could be better gripped and used.

“We began by taping our fingers up and trying to use the products,” says Lorna (J) who worked on designing a pair of scissors. “This way we were able to better understand how it is difficult for arthritis sufferers to find the right pressure points to use them. We then started to think about how we could change this.”

Marcus (D) began by looking at products which were typically perceived as poorly designed and started to consider how they could be redesigned in a more helpful way.

“If you make something which works for the extremes then it will work well for everybody. I looked at a hammer and thought about how to make it a more comfortable tool. I began looking at using softer and grippier materials and making the handle a bit bigger.”

Likewise, Lorna looked at the defects in the typical design of her chosen product and thought of innovative ways this could be remedied through design to help arthritis sufferers.

“Most scissors are really small and you can’t fit your fingers around them properly if you have a restricted grip. To solve this my end product had one handle and then one bar which provided a better grip. I have learnt so much. When you get to the end of a project like this, that feeling when you realise you might have fixed someone’s product is so rewarding.”