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K32 The italian way: to meet HD families needs through design
  1. Elisabetta Caletti
  1. AICH Milano Onlus, Italy

Abstract

Background In Italy, AICH Milano Onlus, an important HD families Association, has been organising self-help groups for many years, both to stay closer to our families and to better understand their needs.

Aims During almost 40 years of activity, our Association aquired a good knowledge of everyday important family needs of people involved in HD. After publishing the Italian Charter of Huntington’s Disease Rights, and after building the first Italian Huntington’s Disease Network, we decided to try to improve their life quality through a different innovative approach: design.

Methods How design, could help HD families to live a better and easier life?

We heard from different people that a huge problem for many of them is to deal with everyday objects, such as glasses and cups, handles and toilet seats.

So we decided to work together with designers and industries to reinvent these and other objects, making them beautiful and useful both for Huntington patients and for everyone else. Through this activity our purpose is also to develop cultural and social awareness of Huntington’s disease among different kind of people.

Results Thanks to AICH Milano efforts, combined with designers’ commitment, we created “…ma così è la vita!” initiative (in Italian it means “…anyway life’s like this!”) which is composed by a Junior Designers Contest, a Workshop at Politecnico di Milano University (one of European most important centres for industrial design) and, last but not least, an Exhibition showing creations and new ideas of 7 internationally-known designers, developed specifically for this initiative.

Conclusions The press conference, which represented the concrete beginning of the project, was held in Milan 10th June 2016, with great success and warm participation, and this first edition of the initiative will last till December, collecting new ideas, creating new objects, opening minds, building networks and spreading awareness.

  • HD families
  • design
  • spreading awareness

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