What if your inhaler was made out of sterling silver or your pill dispenser looked like a beautiful necklace? Would you be less likely to leave them at home? Student designer Hanna Mawbey from the University of Brighton has been researching whether carefully designed, aesthetically pleasing medical equipment can bring about a stronger attachment in the user and make the devices desirable objects in themselves.
Medical condition: Asthma
Objective: improve appearance, whilst maintaining functionality.
An asthmatic patient Hanna interviewed described their inhaler as “embarrassing” meaning they often forgot to take it with them, risking an asthma attack. This inhaler is made from sterling silver, turning embarrassment into pride and creating a personal attachment with a mundane object.
Medical condition: Heart Disease
Objective: encourage wearer to carry medications with them at all times.
A patient with Coronary Heart Disease described how they needed to take a lot of medications every day. They were forgetful and found it difficult to remember which order to take the medicine in. With this attractive pendant necklace, the medicines can be stored in the order they need to be taken.
Medical condition: Multiple Sclerosis
Objective: provide a discreet way of controlling arm tremors.
Heavy bracelets replace shop bought wrist weights as a discreet and fashionable way to control tremors in the arms. Made in response to a person with Multiple Sclerosis, the bracelets enable the wearer to choose whether or not to disclose their ‘disability’ to others, whilst at the same time controlling arm tremors.
Hanna Mawbey is about to start her fourth (BA Hons) year studying MDes 3D Materials Practice at the University of Brighton Faculty of Arts. She recently showcased her work along with work from the “Designing for the Future” Competition at BSRA Science of Ageing Conference.