Ergonomic appliances that don’t compromise looks are the new essential for our aging population” says chief designer for Fisher & Paykel

by Francesca

The design ideas behind Fisher & Paykel appliances are founded in ergonomics and intuition and the appliance brand strives to be the most human-centered in the world. According to the ONS, by 2030 the global aging population will have grown by 12% to over one billion people aged 60 and above. However the evolution of our lifestyle means we will be more active than ever before. Here, Mark Elmore, Vice President Design and Brand at Fisher & Paykel, explores the need for functional and practical products for those reaching retirement and beyond.
Research shows that 80% of people will suffer from back problems in their life; this is due to our sedentary lifestyles. Being sat in front of a computer can have its toll on our necks and our backs and this worsens with time. Fisher & Paykel is dedicated to creating real products for real people. With a motive to design appliances that are ergonomically orientated around making the lives of homeowners easier, F&P has created a range of appliances that perfectly slot into our lifestyles with no hassle.

There are many factors to consider when producing appliances that will suit the older population, especially with those who live in retirement homes. Helen Haider, Head of Marketing for Fisher & Paykel says: “We can see the trend toward a more luxury style of retirement home. The wealth in the UK now seems to sit with the older generations, and they want to have a better-quality home with all the benefits. They want high end finishes, time saving appliances and open plan living that presents social offering.”

Fisher & Paykel’s suite of appliances is a perfect example of the intuitive nature of F&P’s products. The renowned DishDrawer™ dishwasher provides an array of functions that make retirement living easy. When placed at bench height, the need to bend down is significantly reduced and there is no longer a need for you to get on your knees to fill the salt, rinse aid or detergent. It is as easy to open as a normal drawer – perfect for the older population in their retirement.

The importance of easy-to-use functions is important to young and old alike as we are more active and more social than ever before. It is important that they have more time to cook, entertain and socialise. At Fisher & Paykel we design for real people, and for how they live. We ensure that all the design innovations go into our products, but the interface stays simple and intuitive, as with our oven range which has just two controls: one to choose the programme and one to set the temperature. The older generation are still busy and active and do not have time to read user manuals. They, like the rest of us, want to be able to use an appliance straight away. Our ovens are designed to make cooking in the kitchen easier; our new touch screen ovens have 16 pre-programmed cooking modes, which the older generation will be able to use easily, and the interface is really easy to navigate.

The Social Kitchen is an overall approach to design, cooking, and the kitchen. It is an ongoing experience, enabling people to connect over food. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so why not make it the heart of a community? It’s a place where we cook, spend time with family, help grandchildren with the homework, and entertain friends. This should be adopted to the wider community where retirement is concerned.

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