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Designer Creates Tableware to Help People With Dementia

When designer Sha Yao’s grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she saw firsthand how the disease, and other neurodegenerative ones like it, can turn even the most basic tasks into seemingly-impossible feats.

With that in mind, Yao designed Eatwell, a seven-piece tableware set with 20 unique features specifically designed to meet the needs of those with physical, motor, and cognitive impairments. Yao exceeded her fundraising goal on Indiegogo last year and her designs won the top prize at the 2014 Stanford Design Challenge.  

The set has bright, primary colors, which Yao chose because of a Boston University study that found that individuals with cognitive impairment consumed 24% more food and 84% more liquid when they were in brightly-colored containers.

Other features include bowls and cups with angled bases, allowing contents to naturally fall to one side (making them easier to scoop and drink), as well as ergonomically-designed spoons whose curvature aligns with the contours of the bowls. There are also holes with flaps at the edge of the tray where an apron, bib, or napkin can be tucked to prevent spill damage, plus wide-base drinkware that’s difficult to topple. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, around 5.3 million Americans today have Alzheimer’s. An estimated 47.5 million people have dementia worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and that number is only on the rise, making the need for innovations like Yao’s greater than ever.

At the heart of the efficiency and cleverness of the design is the basic desire to help people help themselves, which is especially personal for Yao.

"Raising awareness and addressing the needs of people with impairments will allow them to maintain their dignity, retain as much independence as possible, and reduce the burden on their caretakers," she told Fast Company. "That's what made designing the Eatwell tableware set so rewarding."

To see more of the set, swing over to the official website, or view Yao's fundraising video below. 

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Dan Bell
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Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

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The North Face
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Design
The North Face's New Geodesic Dome Tent Will Protect You in 60 mph Wind
The North Face
The North Face

You can find camping tents designed for easy set-up, large crowds, and sustainability, but when it comes to strength, there’s only so much abuse a foldable structure can take. Now, The North Face is pushing the limits of tent durability with a reimagined design. According to inhabitat, the Geodome 4 relies on its distinctive geodesic shape to survive wind gusts approaching hurricane strength.

Instead of the classic arching tent structure, the Geodome balloons outward like a globe. It owes its unique design to the five main poles and one equator pole that hold it in place. Packed up, the gear weighs just over 24 pounds, making it a practical option for car campers and four-season adventurers. When it’s erected, campers have floor space measuring roughly 7 feet by 7.5 feet, enough to sleep four people, and 6 feet and 9 inches of space from ground to ceiling if they want to stand. Hooks attached to the top create a system for gear storage.

While it works in mild conditions, the tent should really appeal to campers who like to trek through harsher weather. Geodesic domes are formed from interlocking triangles. A triangle’s fixed angles make it one of the strongest shapes in engineering, and when used in domes, triangles lend this strength to the overall structure. In the case of the tent, this means that the dome will maintain its form in winds reaching speeds of 60 mph. Meanwhile, the double-layered, water-resistant exterior keeps campers dry as they wait out the storm.

The Geodome 4 is set to sell for $1635 when it goes on sale in Japan this March. In the meantime, outdoorsy types in the U.S. will just have to wait until the innovative product expands to international markets.

[h/t inhabitat]

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