A memory can be evoked from a smell, a piece of music, a colour or a piece of furniture, which is exactly what Craig Ferguson, design and development manager at Teal Living had in mind for the latest seating range from Teal Living.
Craig imagined a new range of residential care home seating and created it! Breaking away from traditional design standards, the latest range of residential seating is called Evoke. With its retro styling and individual upholstery styling the design harks back to the 1950’s and early 60’s fashioning, a style many care home residents will have first-hand experience of.
Embracing his imagination and sharing a passion for developing furniture that maintains a person’s independence and dignity, Craig started to develop a furniture range that would evoke a memory and create an emotional connection for the user.
“I wanted to conjure memories and create a connection through furniture that would feel comfortable, familiar, and homely, something that would strike up a conversation.”
Not forgetting the overriding design principles and ethos of comfort, support, and sustainability, Craig started to design a chair range that had a domestic home from home feel.
“I deliberately took my inspiration from 1950’s and 1960’s styling. The chances are the end user would remember first-hand this styling and relate to our product – you can’t underestimate the sense of security that can provide an elderly person in a care home, especially one with dementia.”
Staring with the frame production the critical dimensions were finely tuned and design features added. Not forgetting ergonomics and the sit-to-stand assistance consideration, such as width and height, the angle of the seat and back were established by hands-on development in the studio.
“Much of our concepts are developed by hand. You have to sit in a chair to understand how it will feel; a computer can’t do that part. Although hidden, the frame is one of the most important component, which is why we place so much time and investment into getting that part right.” Says Craig.
The chair had to provide the right postural support and comfort. The design and development team tried and tested the frame dimensions and the positioning of different foams to create a chair that would guide the user into the correct seating position with ease and without assistance offering the appropriate lumbar and thoracic support for comfort.”
The seat platform tapers towards the back providing comfortable anchorage at the base of the spine, the curved of the arms offers sit-to-stand leverage, whilst the high back design meets the head delivering additional support for maintained comfort.
“A lot of work went into the seat and back design. Clearly our products have to look right, but they have to perform. We want individuals to look forward to sitting in our chairs, which means we have to make using our furniture accessible to those with varying degrees of mobility and capacity. Due to nature of our customers offer as much support, assistance and comfort through good design”
Continuing to design with health and wellbeing in mind, special attention is also paid to infection control. Specialist fabrics are carefully chosen, not just for aesthetics but also to provide stain resistance, waterproof barriers, anti-microbial and antifungal properties, which are all designed to withstand regular cleaning without compromising the look and feel of the product. In addition the tapered legs have an anti-bacterial lacquer Medicote™ that provides protection against MRSA, e.coli, Salmonella, Bacillus cereus and other bacteria.
Sara Jane Farrow, national business manager at Teal Living “Craig’s idea of evoking memories really fits with our aim of designing for non-clinical environments. What could be better than feeling safe and at ease in your favourite chair whilst discussing fond memories? It’s about creating a connection and a bond, that very essence of being human and being treated like a human being, with care and dignity. Craig has really achieved this, the Evoke range is a beautiful assortment of furniture.”
Designed to complement other ranges within the Teal Living portfolio the Evoke range offers varying style and upholstery finishes and features to create comfortable yet luxurious seating that provide comfort and security within a home from home environment.
Watch the film we did with Teal for their collaboration with Munro Studio: