Concept' Care


In 2013 Lapeyre (subsidiary of the multinational Saint-Gobain Corporation) explored the problems that are encountered by elderly people while they use a bathroom. The problems resulted from physical limitations that older people face in their morning bathroom experience. It was decided to tackle this problem by designing a special sink table that meets all the requirement of older people. The University of Stanford was approached to this project and proposed a group of eight students with five nationalities studying at the German Hasso Plattner Institut (HPI) and the French school at the École des Ponts Paris Tech (ENPC). Initially, Lapeyre was quite skeptical about the project implementation formula (giving a challenge to a group of students, who themselves explore design thinking often for the first time). The challenge came with some restrictions: the final product had to be producible in France and sold for a price below 1000 euros. The team started work from observations of the morning routine of older bathroom users. This included interviews and attempts to immerse themselves into the physical situation of elderly people by building their own grand age simulator (additional loads on the body, gloves to interfere the sense of touch). The students also interviewed experts in the field of elderly psychology and physiology, such as nurses, doctors, and physiotherapists. Based on these experience and observations stablished six needs of elderly people were identified: 1. need to be able to sit in the bathroom because they get tired and feel uncomfortable easily, 2. need to store water sensitive items on a dry working surface, 3. need to store items temporarily on an open working surface in immediate reach, 4. need to be able to reach the storage space from the sink because their accessible zone is reduced, 5. need bright, symmetric lighting in their bathroom, 6. need a mirror to see themselves from up close and from different angles. Based on these needs and after a few iterations, prototypes, consultations with elderly people and their caregivers, a Concepte Care was created. Its first element is a retractable seat with armrests facilitating standing up and seating. It can be removed to offer space for a wheelchair. The seat can be easily hidden under the sink. Sink height is accessible from both standing and seating position. Extensible faucet (like in kitchens) offers possibility to wash upper body at the sink. The working surface is a glass board that can be slid over the sink to offer a dry area. The mirror can be moved in all directions and is integrated with a light source.

Concept' Care


The project was successful in many aspects. First of all, the University of Stanford assigned this project to students thus giving them the opportunity to learn new skills. On the other hand, the project was enriched with a new substantial perspective – students without experience in such projects had an opportunity to untie their imagination and demonstrated a non-standard solution to the problem. Being oriented towards the needs of elderly users they conducted thorough interviews and immersive experiments and were able to deliver a tailor-made product perfectly addressing these needs.










Studenci Stanford Univeristy