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“Designing with instead of designing for”

Contemporary, aesthetic and functional objects, made in the spirit of inclusivity. French-born Aurore Brard creates her product concepts with various special needs in mind, resulting in objects appealing to people without disabilities, too. Let’s see the details.

Aurore Brard finished her studies at Design Academy Eindhoven. In her design approach, she placed a great emphasis on inclusive design.

“As a kid, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, but at that time I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t accept my help or why they wouldn’t use a cane, for example. Later on, as an adult, I came to realize the importance of independence and dignity, and I was urged to act on it. My deepest motivation is to not only provide comfort but also a sense of dignity with my products to “those in need of help”. How wonderful it is when we can be independent without being stigmatized by anyone. I think inclusive design should be a basic norm. Hopefully soon it will be incorporated into design practices and companies will also support and even apply this mindset” – Aurore told us.

Aurore has already launched several worthy initiatives along the “Designing with’ instead of ‘designing for’” principle – let us show you some of them in the followings.

Moving memories

As part of our everyday activities, cooking is built up of a series of automatic motions such as stirring, grinding, pouring, kneading, sprinkling – our hands know what they have to do. These series of motions are the last to disappear in the case of old patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Starting from this idea, the Moving memories collection is a playful and intuitive toolset capturing the specific motions used during cooking, thus stimulating senses and raising the user’s attention. In opposition to kitchen utensils, there’s no wrong way to use the Moving memories objects, and thus these types of movements can have a very calming effect in a world that has become quite confusing for those concerned.

“My grandma suffered from Alzheimer’s, and I spent a lot of time with her, so I dealt with the topic a lot. This period lasting for a couple of years had a major influence on me: it made me dive deep into the world of products developed expressly for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. I had to face the fact that these products all have the aesthetics of objects designed for kids, which I found very stigmatizing. This is how I decided that I would like to create these stimulating objects in an elegant form appealing to adults” – the designer explained.

The Moving memories object collection reached its final form with the help of the workers and residents of Eerdbrand Archipel nursing home in Eindhoven.


The See-eat-through is an elegant tableware set with clean lines intended for everyday usage, allowing the visually impaired to recognize and identify the different objects and their functions with simple solutions, thus facilitating the process of eating.

The collection consists of a dinner plate, a soup dish, a jug and a glass; the strong color bands displayed on the objects – forming contrast with their light surface – promote their correct usage. The tableware is also complemented by a cutlery set, which can be differentiated from each other with the help of palpable signs. The aim of the project is to create tools that can appeal also to the people without disabilities with their aesthetics in addition to their functionality.


In her latest project, Aurore works with social designer and researcher Lotte de Haan and the Fokuswonen healthcare institute by also involving those concerned on developing creative caregiving methods, to facilitate the everyday activities of physically disabled people and their caregivers. The project is currently suspended owing to the epidemic, but research will be continued soon.

Marieke van Gastel, the ambassador and motivated participant of FysiekFabriek with her dog, Bolan. Photo: Lotte de Haan

For further novelties, keep an eye on Aurore Brard’s exciting inclusive design projects on the Instagram page or website of the designer.

Aurore Brard | Web | Facebook | Instagram

Our INCLUSIVE article series presents projects that raise awareness for the society-shaping role of design and that promote the social visibility of people with disabilities and their self-determination through the means of inclusive design.

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