Interview with designer José Merla Laguna (JM), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Ioolot-Easy Going Pants For Easy Dressing-Incontinence.

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Interview with José Merla Laguna at Tuesday 29th of April 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
JM : To help people with mobility problems, to perform easily daily tasks, without being noticed.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
JM : The make the elderly and disable people life a little bit easier while performing everyday activities.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
JM : To expand with this solution the model options (ie. Jeans, dressing pants, etc..)

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
JM : To grow the idea 2 months, to develop the product, make the production, start a brand and create a family of related products around 1.5 years.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
JM : As many people in the world I was very attached to my grandfather, in his elderly years he had many health problems and difficulties. Since I spend lots of time with him I started to realize the need for better products and improved solutions to make his life easier. I develop a line of products and solutions in apparel for different problematic. People with different types of disability or in their elderly period now have an option to make their life easier. These pants let you go easily to the bathroom without any hassle that it’s common in normal zip pants.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
JM : We have a line of products where we provide these solutions directly to the consumer, we are open to lease the production rights, so more people can benefit from this solution.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
JM : To understand the difficulty in performing daily task by people with mobility problems, and knowing that design can provide solutions.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
JM : Ideas come from neuronal connections, I can’t remember if there was an specific designer where I got inspired from but I can say that I get illustrated everyday by reading all type of information from science, anthropology, fashion, architecture, product design, and any type of relevant information that I can found; by these I “feed” my brain and stimulate to innovate.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
JM : Indeed the pants can be used by anyone, but mainly its developed for people with problems of mobility.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
JM : The main difference is that this design hides completely the solution, so you are not aware about the difference. It’s very important the emotional side of a person with difficult dressing, nobody wants to have a “sign” that says that you have dressing problems.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
JM : “easy-going” just describes the solution provided by the pants

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
JM : Corel Draw, fabrics, pencils and sewing machines

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
JM : That you don’t realize about it, and that indeed it’s very easy to go to the bathroom.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
JM : For the development I work together with the partner of the company, Alejandro Nuñez and with special pattern model technicians.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
JM : Here technology it’s used to go into massive production and to offer extra comfort like non-iron / water- repellent fabrics.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
JM : Mainly the amount of people getting old in the world, and there to understand how many of them have incontinence problems and how many have dressing problems. Then we knew that we needed to develop a product to help this type of problematic in the design side.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
JM : To change technicians and producers conceptions of the common used pants, and involve them in the development of a new way of thinking to help people with difficult dressing. Basically producers were stubborn and difficult to implement the new ideas.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
JM : A-Design Award offers the service of design proof and also makes a statement to accept the new idea.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
JM : Some product development can be reached faster with in-house model makers. So they can concentrate and focus on the solution until its solved.