Tag Archives: design

Designer Stoma Bags & Ostomy Devices

silicone-flexible-device-ostomy-colostomy-bag

Silicone stoma device image credit: Dezeen

Until recently, the word colostomy had not featured in our lives. Now, within the last year, two family members suddenly found themselves with a colostomy bag as a result of major bowel and cancer operations, which requires a steep learning curve on maintenance and management and the emotional impact should not be underestimated. Some stomas can be reversed, but many are for life.

However, ostomy bags have come a long way and in many cases, they can be life-changing for the better, as they allow for a piece of diseased organ to be removed, allowing the user to live a healthier and fuller life.

After the initial operation, you are left with a stoma, which is the healthy end of the intestine, turned inside out and sits externally on the abdomen. This is the exit point for the poo and is the piece that the stoma bag can be fixed to. Stoma bags can now be ordered to your stoma’s own specific dimensions, ensuring a snugger fit which is more comfortable and less likely to leak.

Fashion designer Ted Baker had a temporary stoma and after experiencing the products that were then available to him, he worked with the manufacturer Coloplast to improve the design of the bag.

With both family members, it is a hidden disability and access to an accessible washroom can make life easier as this provides a washbasin next to the toilet which is really important for hygiene. Having a stoma bag makes you eligible for a Radar Key, providing access to accessible toilets around the UK.

Colostomy or stoma bags can generally be unattractive and quite unsexy, to say the least, but with the help of tattoos and a bit of imagination, some creative people have found a way to make them more attractive for intimate moments.

sexy-colostomy-bag-stephanie-monty-designed2enable

image credit: Dezeen

Inspired by her own family’s struggle with Crohn’s disease, Brunel University Graduate Stephanie Monty designed a prototype silicone ostomy device which is washable and re-usable and more appealing than the usual pouch. The flexible device adheres to the users’s skin, and is covered with a waterproof membrane that creates a natural, skin-like feel. Inflammation and infection are also an issue, so she included integrated vents that release gas but contain odours.

Northumbria  University student James Shutt noticed that stoma users were getting younger and after research involving teenage colostomy users, came up with the ‘Myostomy’ product.

Stoma decoration Myostomy range

Stoma device Myostomy Range

James found colostomy users struggle with sexual intimacy and body consciousness, as well as more practical issues such as the bag inflating with wind, or concerns about leaving their spare bags and cleaning kits behind if they stayed over at friends or a partner’s house. They also found that their partners were put off by the bag at intimate moments and really needed something that would be more discreet which would give the them more confidence with body image.

stoma plug myostomy range

Stoma Plug Myostomy Range

James’s Myostomy range includes a jewellery stoma plug that fits into the stoma to prevent any bowel accidents at intimate moments, which restores dignity for the user. James also came up with the idea of body art and tattoos to help users embrace their stoma. As yet, the Myostomy range has yet to be launched.

Support:

The Colostomy Association is available for support and they run the Stoma Aid project which collates unused stoma bags and re-distributes them to patients living with stomas in developing countries that cannot afford or access supplies.

StomaWise is an internet based support website offering support and advice to Ostomates of all types. They are available online and a contact telephone number is also available.

3D Screen Printing For Disability

Bespoke 3d prosthetic

Bespoke 3D Prosthetic

Nowadays, anyone can pick up a plastic 3D printer for a couple of hundred pounds and start printing their own limbs. To a certain extent.

Amazing technological advances are allowing scientists to take a 3D scan of an amputee’s arm, 3D print a custom fitted socket for the defective limb overnight, and create a bio-electrically controlled limb with sensors on its muscles which can pick up signals from the brain, so that the hand moves in response to those signals.

Scientists are able to mirror the side that exists and undergo “virtual planning” on the computer, whereby they take data from the functional side and reflect it onto the other side. This process will make prosthetic surgery much more efficient time-wise, with less risk involved and improved outcome.

There are also new materials on the prosthetics scene which complement the 3D printing technology and allow for better integration into the body, such as a honeycomb structure which allows bone to grow and merge with 3D printed scaffolding. In the future, developers hope to print and grow complete organs for our bodies, and print using human stem cells, which are the building blocks for any other cell in our body. Currently, they are able to print basic living structures such as liver cells, and this is significant in regards to drug testing, meaning they can test on 3D printed cells rather than on animals or humans.

GO-6 Layer 3D Printing Wheelchair

GO-6 Layer 3D Printing Wheelchair

There are a number of strategic industrial design agencies forging the way in intelligent technological research, improving the quality of life for people with disabilities and amputations. One of these agencies is LayerLAB and their inaugural project “GO”, a made to measure 3D printed consumer wheelchair that has been designed to fit the individual needs of a wide range of disabilities and lifestyles. The custom form of the seat and foot-bay is driven by 3D digital data derived from mapping each user’s biometric information. The resulting wheelchair accurately fits the individual’s body shape, weight and disability to reduce injury and increase comfort, flexibility, and support. The accompanying GO app allows users to participate in the design process by specifying their preferences of colour, elements and patterns.

This is a wonderful example of how we can use 3D printing to offer customisation to the individual customer, and a personalisation of products which allows the wheelchair users to have a greater sense of control around their situation, feeling that the wheelchair is made for them, rather than them having to mould to fit the wheelchair.

 

3d printed wheelchair gloves

Go Gloves Materialise 2016

From this project and the research and interviewing process around it, LayerLAB discovered that a great mental and physical stress for wheelchair users was the strain and effort involved in self-propelling. They developed the GO glove alongside the GO wheelchair, where the glove grips more efficiently to the wheelchair push rims. The user can lock into the push rims and get a greater power-to-push ratio, taking some of the strain of their arm, neck and shoulder muscles, and reducing the exhaustion and injury induced by self-propelling, which so many wheelchair users suffer from.

 

Philip the duck 3d printing

Philip the duck with his 3D printed feet

The story of Phillip the duck is another example of the far-reaching potential of 3D printing technology. Phillip lost his feet from frostbite, and was rescued by a teacher in Wisconsin, who was considering having him put down, due to his immobility. A local teacher had recently purchased a 3D printer and, with the help of his students, was able to design Phillip some new prosthetic legs from flexible plastic. The simple design allows the remnants of Phillip’s legs to slot in the top of the prosthetic legs, with flat artificial webbed feet underneath providing stability.

Now Phillip the duck is able to walk again, not quite as nimble as before, but a pretty incredible feat..

Hugh Herr – Double Amputee & Bionics Inventor

Hugh Herr Amputee - Bionic Prosthetic Inventor

Hugg Herr; Bionic Prosthetic Inventor

Have you ever wondered whether something that is perceived as your shortcoming, something that stops you from living life in a “normal” way, could actually be seen as an opportunity to push past conventional boundaries?

Hugh Herr is doing just that. He has created bionic limbs that are more flexible, more versatile, and much stronger than normal biological limbs, and is challenging our understanding of disability as something that hinders us from doing the things we love. Through his creations he is managing to bridge the gap between disability and ability, and at the same time exploring human limitation and potential.

Herr had both legs amputated below the knee after tissue damage from frostbite in a mountain climbing accident.  He was very well known in climbing circles, and at 17 years old, he had scaled cliff faces that no adult had ever attempted before. As a teenage climbing phenomenon, he met fellow climber Jeff Batzer and together decided to scale Mount Washington in New Hampshire. As they set out, avalanche conditions set in, but they kept going in the snow, believing it mild enough to manage, enjoying themselves. The conditions got worse, visibility was poor, and they got higher and higher on the mountain and further north, meaning further away from civilisation. They realised they needed to turn around, but Herr fell through ice during a river crossing and lost body heat and precious energy. After three days on the mountain they were eventually rescued, but Herr’s legs were severely frostbitten and gangrene was threatening to creep into the rest of his body. Seven surgeries later and doctors were still unable to get blood flowing back into his feet. His legs were amputated just below the knees, and he was fitted with legs made from plaster of paris. He cried every day for two years, his main focus not so much walking again, but whether he could climb. All he wanted was to feel normal again.

Image: Heinz Award

Image: Heinz Award

A few months after his surgery, he was fitted with a pair of acrylic legs, and took himself back into the mountains. As he climbed he realised that the real parts of his body got colder and achier, while his artificial limbs had no muscle fatigue whatsoever. He could also move a lot more quickly, because the amputations had left him 14 pounds lighter. This was when he had the realisation that fake limbs could possibly outperform real ones. A life changing realisation and one that set him on the path to creating dynamic bionic limbs that moved and felt better than real ones.

He realised there was a gap in artificial limb technology for bionic limbs – data driven creations rather than artisan crafted. So he filled that gap.

hugh herr double amputee

image: Shaun G Henry for Forbes

How do his legs work? There are three interfaces – mechanical, dynamic, and electrical.

Mechanically, he discovered a way to attach the limbs to the body in a comfortable and durable way – a relief for anyone who wears an artificial limb and endures the pain where the artificial and biological limbs meet. Where the body is stiff, he made the synthetic skin soft, and vice versa. This was done through a combination of MRI scans, robotic data and experimenting with different synthetic materials.

Dynamically, it was necessary to understand what each muscle does, how they connect with each other, and how those muscles are controlled by the spine.

Electrically, he realised that to make the limbs feel real, they needed to be a real part of the body, connecting with other processes, most importantly, the nervous system. He modelled the artificial limb on the biological limb, and researched the spinal reflexes and connections between the limb and the brain. He even went a step further, realising that through motor channels we can sense how a person wants to move. He now wears synthetic limbs that move and FEEL like flesh and bone.

Over half the world’s population suffers from some kind of cognitive, emotional sensory and motor condition, and due to poor technology these conditions so often end up as some form of disability.

Herr believes every person should have the right to live life without disability. To be able to see a loved one even with impaired sight, to be able to live without severe depression, to walk or dance in the case of limb paralysis or amputation.

Herr is shifting our viewpoint on disability and amputation, from the belief that a person is broken, to the idea that our environment is disabled and inadequate. A broken body is not a broken person.

He is passionate about bringing this innovative technology to the people that need it.

For more information on Hugh Herr and his work, see his Ted Talk, “The New Bionics That Let Us Run, Climb and Dance”:

 

 

Product News: Rollz Flex Shopping Trolley / Rollator

Sturdy shopping trolley

Rollz Flex Shopper / Rollator

Shopping can be a fun but exhausting activity and for anyone that has mobility problems or tires easily, the Rollz Flex Shopping Trolley, which double as a rollator,  could be the perfect solution.

Danish manufacturer Rollz, who are specialists in the ergonomic design of innovative mobility products are known for their award winning Rollz Motion Rollator. They have now produced another gem of a product with the Rollz Flex which has a very modern design and is ideal for anyone who may need a walking stick or a little extra support but who is not quite ready for a traditional rollator.

Topro Rollz Flex Rollator Grey

Rollz Flex Shopper with Denim Grey Bag

The Rollz Flex could easily become your best shopping buddy. It is lightweight and folds easily into a compact form for stowing in the boot of your car or storing at home. The push bar handle is height adjustable and can be positioned upright, or half or fully tilted forwards. When it is tilted forwards it can be leant on for support, just like a rollator.  The integral seat is there for when you need a rest and the push bar handle doubles as a back support when it is tilted fully forwards, for added safety.

Flex shopping trolley with adjustable handle bar

Rollz Flex Shopper with adjustable push bar handle

Every aspect of safety has been considered in the design of the Rollz Flex and therefore innovative drum brakes are included to provide safe and controlled braking and parking.  The manoeuvrable front wheels allow for easy steering and a threshold device is included on rear wheels for easy curb mounting.

The integral shopping bag is waterproof and holds a large capacity for storing all your shopping and the inner lining of the bag is removable and washable.  The Flex frame is available in white with either a Bright Purple or Denim Grey shopping bag.

Video Demonstration:

We think that you will love this product, we certainly do!

You can find more information on the Rollz Flex Shopping Trolley / Rolllator here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surf Therapy

Adapted Surfboard for disabiity

Image: Surfability

Surf’s Up!

An exciting new development in surf technology is making headway for wheelchair users to experience the waves first hand.

Cerebra Innovation Centre,  in partnership with Surfability UK and Tonic Surf Therapy, have begun designing bespoke surf boards for people with limited mobility and neurological difficulties, allowing wheelchair-bound adrenaline junkies to get out of their chairs and onto the water.

Kai Lewis is a thirteen year old boy from Port Talbot, who suffered a stroke at age one and consequently lives with cerebral palsy.  He helped to test out the new products recently out on the water at Llangennith Beach in West Wales. Onlookers watched as Kai surfed his first wave, with a little help from his tandem surfer, a trained surf instructor riding on the back of his board. The board is a pioneer surf product, with a supportive “bucket” seat and space on the back for an experienced surfer to steer it in the right direction. Kai had a very successful day out on the water, catching waves with a huge grin on his face and his mother looking on proudly.

Adapted surfboard

Image: Surfability

Surfability UK (surfing for disabled children) and Tonic Surf Therapy (working with surf and ocean therapy programmes in the UK and the USA) have teamed up with Cerebra Innovation Clinic to develop this product. Surfability UK was founded in 2013, as a response to increasing demand for inclusive surfing lessons that would allow people living with disabilities to experience the surf first hand. They design specific surf lessons and experiences for groups and individuals based on their needs, in a safe and supportive environment. Amongst their equipment are Tandem Surfboards, Surfing Helmets, Buoyancy Aids and Beach Access Wheelchairs. They also use innovative communication with IPad software to ensure clear communication and instruction between teacher and student.

They aren’t the first to make progress in making surf more accessible to wheelchair users, but they are the first to create individualised products for specific conditions.  Ross Head, CIC Product Design Manager, says that “since its inception, CIC has made a tremendous difference to the lives of many children with neurological conditions across the UK. The unique strategic vision for CIC means that we are able to respond to individual requests for help and can make small numbers of bespoke products that focus heavily on individual requirements and inclusion into society.”

Overall, the day was a great success, supported by top weather conditions and a supportive team by Kai’s side. His mother,  Leanne Lewis, expressed her pride, saying “hopefully it’s going to get more children out of their wheelchairs… The more you can get them out the better.” Most exciting is what these continuing innovations in surf and mobility technology represent for the future, for wheelchair users, and for surf lovers alike. If you’re a surfer, or you simply love the water, you’ll know the thrill of the wave, and the residual calm, and how the water becomes like a meditation when you immerse yourself in it. Everyone deserves to experience that feeling, and now they can, thanks to CIC, Surfability UK and Tonic Surf Therapy.

For more information on innovative surf technology and therapy, take a look at the following:
Surfability UK:  http://www.surfabilityukcic.org/
Cerebra: http://w3.cerebra.org.uk/
Tonic Surf Therapy: http://www.cynnalycardi.org.uk/

Author credit:  Rosie Moreton for designed2enable.co.uk

Top & Derby: The Design Interview

designed2enable has a few words with Matt and Ben of Canadian design company Top & Derby, the people behind our beautiful new Chatfield Canes and Compression Socks.

Trendy contemporary walking stick

Top & Derby Canes 

Ben: Matt and I met while working for the international furniture retailer, EQ3. I did store planning and design for the each of the company’s corporate stores and independent retail partners around the world. Matt worked as an independent product designer, and designed many of the company’s top selling upholstery and casegood items.

We saw there was a gap in the home healthcare market for well-designed products, and from this little spark, Top & Derby was born.

d2e: What inspired you to focus on healthcare products and on the Chatfield cane as your launch product?

Matt: Although we would have loved to design and launch a large portfolio of products, we decided to focus initially on one product in order to test the market. Since walking canes were once used as a fashion accessory, and they are currently the most frequently used mobility accessory, we decided to launch a cane as our first product.

Additionally, the Chatfield was designed to be a simple and beautiful product, crafted of premium materials. We wanted people to be excited by the cane that they use, since many people are embarrassed to use a cane. Essentially, we started with a product that we felt our customers would be proud to own.

Top & Derby 3 canes resize

d2e: Was there a particular person who inspired you to produce such a dandy cane?

Matt: We didn’t have one particular person in mind when we designed the Chatfield. We thought about every person who uses clinical looking home healthcare products and how we could enhance their lives; we didn’t think it was fair that there was limited choice in the products that they were using. Overall, our goal with Top & Derby has been to make an impact on the industry with unique, design-driven home healthcare products.

Medical socks for tired legs

Top & Derby Compression Socks

d2e: Why did you choose compression socks for your second product?

Ben: We decided to launch compression socks because they represent a meaningful product extension for the Top & Derby product range. Like canes, compression socks are also fashion accessories for people who use home healthcare products. We’ve been delighted with the reception to our decidedly different sock designs.

d2e: You launched your products with Kickstarter funding. Did you have an overwhelming response to the Kickstarter campaign? Can you give us any insight into the pros and cons of the crowdfunding process?

Ben: Kickstarter is a topic that we could write a book about; we’ve launched two crowdfunding campaigns and have become quite intimate with the process of it. We have been fortunate to receive funding through both of our campaigns, but we don’t take for granted the hard work that goes into planning a successful campaign.

In a nutshell, the pros of crowdfunding are twofold.

1) It gives people the opportunity to access capital, test the market with an idea, and generate pre-sales for a product before it goes into production.

2) Crowdfunding provides people the opportunity to gain exposure in the market – sometimes through press and other times through organic site traffic – which helps to generate awareness for both a product and company.

Often, the biggest pitfall for crowdfunders is underestimating the capital required to launch a project. Underestimating capital can compromise a person’s ability to be able to deliver on his or her promises further down the road. Fortunately, we have not encountered these issues. Prior to launching each of our campaigns, we have been quite diligent in fully understanding the strategy and economics of crowdfunding.

Compression flight socks

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d2e: Can you share any information on the design process and how long it took to design the canes.

Matt: The design process for our canes, and for all of our products in development, is often quite long. Ben and I often jam on product concepts, then I start drawing rough sketches. Eventually these sketches are turned into renderings and we will build some rapid (rough) prototypes before finding factories that we might want to work with to produce our designs. Once we narrow down the factories that we want to work with, we get some pre-production prototypes built and refine them until we are happy for them to go into production.

d2e: What challenges/setbacks did you come up against in manufacturing the products – or did the whole process run very smoothly? 

Matt: The most challenging thing about manufacturing any type of product is finding high quality manufacturers that can deliver on the vision we have for a product. Since our products often combine multiple materials, it can be challenging to find one manufacturer with the capabilities to produce products that use many different materials and manufacturing processes.

d2e: How do you select the manufacturers that produce your products? Did they have to meet certain criteria?

Matt: We spend a great deal of time finding the high quality manufacturing partners. Once we design rough prototypes, the longest part of the development cycle is finding manufacturers that we want to work with.

d2e: Have you had any specific feedback from retailers/design institutes and the general public? Are the larger department stores buying into the idea?

Ben: The general public (who use home healthcare products) seem to really resonate with the T&D brand and what we are trying to achieve. Larger department stores are not as open to the idea, since they don’t believe that consumers want design-driven home healthcare products. However, we believe that it will only be a matter of time before the market demands it.

If you would like to know more about Top & Derby’s products, check out the Chatfield walking cane and compression socks at designed2enable.co.uk

 

 

Iris Apfel, Style Icon

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image credit: thetimes.co.uk

Iris Apfel first came onto our radar a few years ago when she was featured on Advanced Style Blog. At the grand age of 94, most people are slowing down in life but Iris is an incredible woman who has become a ‘geriatric starlet’, known for her iconic style and creative brilliance.

A former interior designer, Iris and her husband Carl Apfel; a textile merchant who died earlier this year, landed a contract consulting on the interiors for the White House and were well known within the New York design circles.

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Iris & her husband Carl. Image: Rex

Her career as an interior designer and textile creator took her around the world. Through her travels to the far corners of the world, she collected her eclectic mix of vintage and designer clothes and costume jewellery which was exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute.  This exhibition was a turning point in her career. Apfel styled the show herself and through word of mouth became a new fashion sensation, more or less overnight.

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Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Iris is celebrated in countless style magazines covers and insists that her appeal is due to the glamour that is missing in life these days and the fact that people like her because she is different. She is a master at mixing something cheap with something chic and manages to create her own style. She engages with all sorts of people, of all ages, from all walks of life and shares with them her excitement about living.

Loved for her no-nonsense attitude, she is well known for her ‘Irisisms’ where she shares her pearls of wisdom and her style inspiration:

“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess”

“When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else”

“I don’t see anything wrong with a wrinkle. It’s kind of a badge of courage”

“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and above all, attitude”

This year has seen the launch of Iris, a documentary film about Apfel’s life. Iris is living proof that keeping active is the key to ageing gracefully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design Museum – Life On Foot & Sabi Canes

Camper store

Camper Store, 5th Avenue NYC

If you are passionate about shoes, the Life on Foot exhibition at the Design Museum which runs from 13th May – 1st of November could be right up your street!

Life On Foot is the first exhibition for the much-loved family run Spanish shoe brand Camper. The exhibition explores the journey of traditional shoe making and the influences of contemporary design and technology.

Learn about Camper’s extensive archives, their design studios in Mallorca through to their extensive high-tech manufacturing facilities in the Far East. Camper is now a global brand that occupies contemporary design led retail spaces and has a playful approach to advertising.

Camper

Camper advertising

The exhibition also delves into the pedestrian’s relationship to the built in environment where you can also discover how wearable technologies and surveillance systems impact on our experience of walking.

colourful, trendy walking sticks

Sabi ROAM Sport Cane

To complement the Camper exhibition, the Design Museum invited us to exhibit our eye-catching, and colourful Sabi Roam Canes  which are strategically placed around the exhibition. Walking canes are an intrinsic part of pedestrian life and the fun loving design of Sabi Canes marries beautifully with the Camper brand.

stylish funky walking sticks

 

Life On Foot runs until the 1st November 2015.  Catch it while you can!

 

Product Design News – Lap Counter by Tomas Kral

TomasKral

Lap Counter by Tomas Kral

The Lap Counter is a contemporary styled plastic tray which provides the facility to peel, chop and slice fruit and vegetables from the comfort of your seat, anywhere around the home, whether you are in the garden or watching your favourite TV programme .

objets cuisine

 

Designed  by Tomas Kral, the Lap Counter is still in concept stage of development but would be particularly useful for the elderly or disabled as it allows the user to work whilst seated.  The positioning of the food bowl between the knees allows the Lap Counter to be more stable on the lap than a traditional tray and the raised edges of the tray prevent food from sliding off.

This is a lovely example of universal design – we hope to see it in production soon Tomas!