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Drawings and prototype of a jacket lift design, The prototype is a stand with hooks on which a jacket can be hung. Drawings show how a user would put on the jacket that is held by the stand.

Valentina Kozina

Project title

Jacket Lift

Module

U101 Design Thinking

This device aids in the dressing process for upper body garments, particularly jackets and coats, for individuals with limited mobility in their shoulders. It resembles a floor lamp stand, featuring an additional horizontal bar that raises the garment onto the individual's shoulder when the button is pressed using one's foot. The circular frame eliminates any sharp corners, providing a modern twist and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the Jacket Lift.

In the UK, around 10 million people have arthritis, and more than 350 million have arthritis globally. It is also a leading cause of joint replacement operations, with the most common being carried out on hips, knees, shoulders, and other joints. How might we enable those with restricted shoulder mobility to independently put on upper body garments (e.g., shirts, jackets, coats)?

I wanted to explore this opportunity with a focus on the following user groups:
- Elderly individuals with restricted upper-body mobility, primarily but not exclusively due to arthritis.
- Individuals who have undergone post-shoulder replacement operations.
- Caregivers.

As part of the research, I conducted several conversations with individuals who experience limited shoulder and arm mobility, including my father-in-law, who has been delaying his recommended shoulder replacement operation for many years due to fears of an uncomfortable and lengthy recovery. And although he is quite an active gentleman who exercises daily, he finds some day-to-day tasks challenging. One of them is independently putting on an upper body garment.

In his own words: "To put on a shirt is uncomfortable, a jacket is challenging, and a coat is impossible."

The intention was to create a design that is both functional and visually appealing in its simplicity. The Jacket Lift successfully addresses the set objectives by elevating a jacket onto individual shoulders. This design not only serves a functional purpose but also has the potential to be an elegant object that seamlessly integrates with the interior design setting.

I would love to bring this project to life. However, in order for this product to be constructed at its actual size and tested with real users, the involvement of other specialists, such as a mechanical engineer and an electrician, would be necessary.

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