More designers working to resolve issues of disability and difference

Here are another three designers from the 2012 Festival of Design and Innovation who have developed products to make life less troublesome for those with potentially debilitating conditions: diabetes, eczema and issues of balance.

Lewis Plowman: BA Product Design (Hons)

Buddy Bag: Portable Insulin Pack

Sadly, childhood diabetes is an increasing phenomenon and this product has been designed for those aged 3-7. Lewis recognised that existing packs were not really appropriate for younger diabetics and wanted to produce something that removed perceived stigmas surrounding personal medicine. Adaptable to individual lifestyle, the backpack holds a compact, detachable section for the safe storage of all the necessary equipment. Lewis is keen to acknowledge the help he has received with his project from the Medic Alert charity to whom he has generously donated his design. In recognition of his excellent work, Lewis has been selected to exhibit his product at the forthcoming New Designers Show on London’s South Bank.

lewisplowman@tiscali.co.uk

Rachel Wells: BA/BSc Product Design (Hons)

SoapSafe

Rachel has always wanted to work for children, particularly in ways which help to resolve acknowledged problems. Her product, SoapSafe, meets these criteria and successfully combines them with her abilities as a designer. One in five children in the UK has eczema and this product addresses the issue of itching and irritation caused by soap residue on the skin in hard-water areas. SoapSafe informs parents of the effects of various products and monitors which soaps are less harmful and reduce aggravation.

racheljwells@googlemail.com

Molly Metzler: BA/BSc Product Design (Hons)

Cane Mutiny

Molly’s research showed that, within the aging population in particular, stigma can be attached to the need for a walking aid. Inspired by her grandmother, an active eighty-seven year old who has previously managed without a stick, Molly decided to design an aesthetically pleasing product that has less of a medical or disabling feel about it. Cane Mutiny is the successful outcome: a stylish and colourful accoutrement which never compromises on security, stability and comfort. As Molly says, problems of balance are not necessarily related to age and should not preclude the desire to be both graceful and fashionable.

molly_metz@live.com

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