Key Statistic

48 percent

Key statistic that emerged from my Primary Research. 48% believe their inhaler could be better designed. There needs to be change.


DISSERATION: Primary Experiment

I now have all the materials I need for my primary research experiment. I have been playing with the ideas of what I want to attempt to produce for a while. Realistically, I am skeptical as to whether it will be possible to produce anything substantial. There are a series of images of products in the book I have been reading, by E.S. Stevens. I think the easiest method for production will be to use plastic film forming methods, and then to use the film produced to make a flexible plastic product. I’ve settled on the idea of producing a bag, as this is not restricted by scale. If I am only capable for producing a single sheet of material of around A4 or A5 scale, then it will still be possible to fold the material into a bag suitable for holding a phone or something of a similar scale. I am uncertain of the true properties of the material I will be producing, the descriptions within the book are fairly vague. I hope that this element of the project will inject some depth and highlight my passion for the subject.

Notes from Mondays tutorial…

– Would the information feedback on compliance be useful to a asthma clinic nurse or a doctor?

– Are tracking systems going to be monitored by medical staff? Do they have time?

– Tracking diabetes – GP’s access to files.

– sketch out systems based on the answers from the survey.

– Pricing, must be made for 3 times less than sale price. NHS are still paying for it.

– How does the prescription system work? Who chooses the medicine available for dispensing? Is this device an extra that is bought by the user? Or is it supplied by a GP or pharmacy?

– How long is this device expected to be used for?

– What materials might be used for this? hygiene? How precious it is.

– Fear v Encouragement – Intrinsic motivation, behavioural psychology, case studies.

– Speak to a psychologist.

– Consider adverts – shock v idealisation.

– Participatory design might make people comply better.

– Collapsible forms for Spacers ‘Collapsibles’ book, inflatables? Space saving, cooking equipment.

– Oxygen in blood (oximeter) relating to asthma, is there a correlation.

– Moodboard – ‘other devices which keep track of information and send information out’.

– Best way to get medicine into the body? Is it the inhaler?

– Less likely to be in habit at 16 to 30? More vulnerable?

– A flat form – Cardboard or putting value back into it, such as bamboo or leather.

– Promoting recycling the device, or keeping it for longer.

– Don’t get single track minded about the device being electronic.

DISSERTATION: Choosing Materials, the Design Process

It seems to me that when it comes to considering the material and manufacturing process for any component, it is constantly an act of
compromising. The considerations are:

– The properties of the material.
– The scale of manufacture.
– where it can be manufactured.
– The method of manufacture.
– How the material is produced.
– The end life of the material.
– The cost of material.
– The ethical issues relating to each of the above.

Inevitably, at least one (but usually more) of these factors have to be compromised in order for a material to be chosen. When I started
my degree in 2012, I found myself considering manufacturing at the end of the design stage, over two years on, and manufacturing has
become a my principle consideration as early as the the initial concept stage of my design processes.

It seems to me that biopolymers have much to offer in terms of relieving the issue of compromising in the material and manufacturing stage of design. If there really is a renewable and compostable material which can replace a non-renewable,
oil reliant, often toxic, non-biodegradable, heavily-relied-upon material, then it begs the question; why isn’t there more of it around
today? Surely it can’t be that simple, can it?

Developments during the last week-and-a-half…

It’s been a busy last week and a half, my subject project has developed in numerous directions as I search for a solution to the problem of asthma medication adherence in young people aged 16 to 30. I am now thoroughly into the design stage of the process and I have produced produced around 10 moodboards and information boards to illustrate further research.

I believe that I have found, and come to terms with the the main issues of the project much more intimately this week. Looking back to a couple of weeks ago; I remember feeling quite blurred about the underlying themes that I needed to pluck from my research.

Firstly, this week I have realised that rather than just considering the condition; ‘Asthma’ and what individuals with the condition think and feel about their condition, I must look more broadly at the condition we all share; being a human being. Put simply, I am finding lots of potential ideas, not by questioning medication adherence issues, but instead by considering human (and animal, which of course is what humans are) behaviour and psychology:
– Why do people choose to do and not to do things?
– What stimulates people to make decisions?
– How and why do people remember and forget things?
A start point for exploring these primary points was to produce a moodboard to create a visual collection of all the everyday things everybody has to take part in, either passively, or with knowledge; this included everything from seeing to eating. I then used this as a platform for further research and as a creativity spring for producing ideas. For instance, take the example of the sense: ‘smelling’; I explored the topic in detail and discovered that there are links between memory and scents, dreams and scents, emotions and scents, productivity and scents, among many others. I felt this was a key point in my project and is enabling me to come up with a much more varied and considered range of ideas and I’m starting to recognise the importance of integration as a key theme within the project. I found a TV documentary by Desmond Morris to be particularly interesting in stripping back human behaviour to it’s key elements and I am going to read his book; ‘The Naked Ape’ for some further research:

Secondly, up until only a few days ago I realised that I have been taking one assumption for granted during this whole project; that I should be designing a device which delivers medicine into the patients body. However, on reflection of my brief I have established that this is not necessarily the best outcome. The brief is to design a device which improves adherence to asthma treatment. So far I have found that there is some new found creative freedom in designing without having to consider the workings of the inhaler itself so I am going to continue to explore both this option and that of changing the design of the medication delivery device.

I have plans to carry out primary research this coming week, with the aim of this being to better understand the behaviour of people and how they interact with objects within their daily routines to better understand what integrates well, and what doesn’t.

To summarise, the key themes which I have uncovered this week are: behaviour and integration.