Designing homes for dignity

Laura Wood, 17 February 2020

Invisible Creations is challenging stereotypes and negative stigmas around ageing and disability by producing attractive and inclusive home adaptations.

In 2018, we had an idea. Now, two years on, we’ve turned that idea into a reality.

When we came together as six strangers on the National Housing Federation’s ‘Creating our Future’ programme, we could never have imagined that our simple idea would come so far! 

Our mission was clear: come up with a solution to support people to live well in their homes for longer. We could have gone in so many different directions, but our research led us to explore the role of home adaptations.

We found that minor home adaptations can make the biggest difference to support people to live independently for longer. But we also found that the system is broken.

Current adaptations are installed reactively, once someone has fallen or ended up in hospital, and at that point – it’s often too late to really make a difference.

On top of that, the current marketplace provides clinical looking products that have so much negative stigma attached to them, that people would rather risk falling than getting them installed.

The scary reality is that despite adaptations having the potential to be life changing, they are often delayed, rejected or completely ignored. Many people delay installing adaptations until they reach crisis point, so as not to ‘medicalise’ their home, and they instead choose to adapt their behaviour rather than adapt their home.

For us, the solution was simple – place dignity at the heart of design.

And that’s exactly what we did. We set off in the pursuit of designing inclusive products that are functional and attractive.

That journey led us to establishing Invisible Creations, a business that’s challenging stereotypes and negative stigmas around ageing and disability by producing attractive and inclusive solutions.

We now have a range of dual-purpose and attractive home adaptations that people are proud to install in their homes. We’re disrupting the current reactive and restrictive adaptations model by encouraging more organisations to start installing these products strategically, as a preventative measure.

Invisible Creations provides an opportunity for the market to change, to provide customers with the products that they want, that they are happy to install into homes earlier, and that ultimately will support them to remain independent in their own homes for longer.

We’re so proud of how far we’ve come, but we couldn’t have got here without the incredible support and backing from Johnnie Johnson, Karbon Homes, Anchor Hanover, North Star Housing Group and PROCare.

We’d also like to extend a huge thank you to every organisation that has reached out to support us throughout our journey, from concept to creation.

There’s a real shared energy and synergy around creating better solutions to meet the needs of our tenants and customers as they age, and by collaborating, like we have, on a sector-wide scale, we have real potential to transform lives.

For more info visit our website or email me.