Some of the most common specula in use today were designed in the 19th century. Improvements that have been made since then benefit doctors, but patients have remained overlooked.
Physicians recommend that women have their first pelvic exam by age 21. And although nearly all women have had these exams, no one knows what to expect on their first visit. The sensory feedback given by the current specula are misleading as to the nature of the exam, making it more uncomfortable than it should be.
This new speculum addresses patient needs by changing the visual, auditory, and tactile experience. The number of parts has been reduced to make the tool look less mechanical. The resting position of the speculum is open, and must be physically closed by compressing the spring steel body, eliminating the sound and feeling of adjustment. Pinching is prevented by having the tool never completely close, and by moving the non-mechanical hinge to the bottom.
It also solves physician problems. The spring steel that makes up the body of the tool has a calculated weight and shape, so the tool only applies the amount of pressure needed and can never be over-adjusted.
ILabs is a group of researchers studying infant brain development of language in infants. As one of the only labs in the world using this equipment on infants, they have had to modify child seats to make a machine designed for adults effective for infants.
An apparatus requiring a lift and chair had to be adapted. It demanded we work with the current set-up which put considerable constraints on material and space. Also, a balance had to be struck between the requirements of the researchers and pleasing the child and guardian.
The space available under the dewar is an irregular convex shape low to the floor. Researchers should be able to operate and adjust the apparatus easily, but the space directly in front of the chair must be kept clear as well. One of the most challenging constraints was that on material: the dewar senses tiny changes in the brain's magnetic field, so any material with a detectable magnetic field was unusable.
A modular system was created for the chair. Scaled cushions create incremental adjustment and control movement. The harness is elastic for a comfortable but snug fit, and easy to use with one fastening and adjustment. A simple lift with minimal mechanism utilized compressed air, a resource already available.
Manual processes of all kinds tend to take on a ritual aspect. Maintaining the ritual is important because it often falls into peoples’ larger morning routines that set the flow for the rest of the day.
Some people enjoy their coffee a certain way, but others like to experiment. And although brewing time tends to be the greatest factor on determining flavor, current manual brewing systems set inherent limitations on the range of flavors that can be achieved.
A family was created that includes a kettle, cone, vessel, and storage for grounds. The forms were inspired by the folded paper filters used in Chemex brewers. A simple valve was added to the pour over cone to adjust drip rate and favor with visual feedback for the user.
A form study exploring form and family. There is a control each for push, pull and twist.
Based on studies by the Ulm School, this exercise explores complex modularity. Pieces are identical and together form patterns in three dimensions. The form started as a flat shape created by cutting and rearranging pieces of an equilateral triangle. Then, a three-dimensional form was developed.