Stannah Stairlifts has launched two stairlift systems designed by product design group Seymour Powell, in a bid to reposition the product’s image and shake off negative associations.
The models – Stannah Solus and Stannah Sofia – are designed to blend in with the home and appeal to the ‘Mick Jagger generation’ who are more concerned with style, says Jon Stannah, managing director of Stannah Lift Services.
According to Stannah, ‘These chairs are quite different from anything else we have designed – they are more contemporary, lifestyle items which can be recognised as good pieces of design.’
It is the first time that Stannah has worked with an outside design consultancy. Usually the company’s in-house engineering team draw up designs for the stairlifts.
Both stairlifts have new features to improve functionality. These include/ ergonomic controls located in a single control ‘pod’; seat belts that are designed differently to traditional car models, making them easier to use; and a new seat load sensor, to ensure that the lift does not start moving until the user is positioned safely and comfortably in the chair.
In addition to these innovations, The Stannah Solus model also features a shorter, more discreet seat back. It is available in a range of neutral colours, such as cocoa, oyster and slate. The Stannah Sofia has an upholstered soft woollen fabric seat and is available in melon, sand or lavender, for example.
The new models launch this week. Seymour Powell has been working on the project for five years.
Its research arm, the Seymour Powell Foresight team, began the project by filming and interviewing users of traditional stairlift chairs, to help inform the brief.
The aim was to decrease the product’s ‘institutional’ feel, remove stigma attached to the product and build a more design-led model.