Laura Wood and Paul Pentelow
Podcast brought to you by the Design and Technology Association in partnership with the Edge Foundation. Listen now!
In this episode we are in conversation with Laura Wood and Paul Pentelow, Co-Founders of Invisible Creations a design company with a stated purpose to 'Design for Dignity'.
The idea for Invisible Creations® was created in the National Housing Federation’s innovation programme in 2018. The initiative was supported by the social housing sector and the company was formally founded as a new startup in January 2020.
Laura, Paul and the team are driven by a desire to bring dual purpose, high-quality thoughtfully and empathetically designed products to the homes of elderly people, enabling them to maintain their independence and to live life to the full. This quote, taken from their website sums up their value driven approach to their business "Older people have been poorly served for too long with products that are stigmatising, clinical and downright ugly. We’re here to end it. Our aim is to completely disrupt a market that fosters negative stereotypes and makes people feel vulnerable."
What is interesting is neither Paul or Laura come from Design backgrounds. Paul left Salford University with a Degree in Sports Management and Laura was an English teacher with a background in Marketing and Comms; yet both have found themselves motivated to work in an area that really makes a positive impact on peoples lives.
Our discussion takes us through a design process from identification of a design area ripe for exploration, through design to manufacture and marketing. Invisible Creations is a young company with a vision and a passion for what they do that comes over strongly in the podcast.
Their website details a very personal story of Laura's nan Sheila. Sheila's story describes an independant, proud woman who did not feel that she should submit to ugly, stereotyped clinical design that "labelled me as old and infirm". Sheila's story can be echoed by millions of pensioners nationally, Invisible Creations was founded to help people like Sheila.