We teamed up with Jason Lock Productions to create a film to capture the #DesignforMSK process. Watch to find out what went into creating our design prototypes.
‘After discussing the participants’ concerns with their existing products and problems that they faced repeatedly, I decided to focus on comfort and confidence. The obvious yet crucial problem that I was interested in resolving was the muscle tension and discomfort.
However, through the workshops and communicating with the participants, I also became aware that these illnesses can, in many cases, take over the patient’s life; having products with a very medical aesthetic can be very intrusive and affect the person’s social confidence.
This informed the style and detail within my designs. Most muscle supports on the market target one specific area only. I found this very surprising and through it would be very beneficial to have an overall neck, shoulder, lumbar and lower back support.
[For the finger and hand splints] my aim was to create a product that is aesthetically appealing, elegant and fashionable, yet providing the overall muscle support for the patients.
I wanted to create a product that will distract the patient from the illness, rather than the product being a constant reminder of the pain.’
These products were designed by Houda Kaddouh and are owned by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Any enquiries should be directed to Manchester Health Ventures.
‘I wanted to focus on simplicity and create practical designs that can be used in day-to-day life. My bag strap design allows users to wear any fashionable bag by providing additional shoulder support.
A small pocket allows users to add heat or ice packs when necessary to alleviate any shoulder pains they may have.
My modular pill boxes allow users to sort their medication for the week. Smaller boxes can be taken out and about when needed. The hook on the top means the small daily box can be hooked onto keys or a make up bag for convenience.’
These products were designed by Harriet Whittaker and are owned by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Any enquiries should be directed to Manchester Health Ventures.
‘It wasn’t too long ago that spectacles were considered a disability aid. Now, 70 years on, they are practically invisible because they’ve been allowed to shed the tinge of disability and be part of the larger discourse. So for my first project ‘invisible visible stick’, I redesigned the walking stick […] drawing inspiration from the ascent of spectacles as a fashion statement and indigenous craft culture.
Another point of tension for young people with musculoskeletal conditions is their inability to explain their experience or to negotiate their experience with their families and friends.
For my second project, I proposed a novel appendage – the use of an emoji that helps codify a simple means for young people to express how their day is going and for their inner circle to offer support.
I wanted to co-opt this as an opportunity to propose a visual code […] based on a popular account on the internet of a patient who used spoons on a table to explain to her friend how much energy it took for her to do something that others would take for granted.’
You can read Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory here.
These products were designed by Adnan Arif and are owned by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Any enquiries should be directed to Manchester Health Ventures.
‘My work explores a reinterpretation of the knee and wrist support in an attempt to show how much, I feel, has been missed with the clinical one-size-fits all approach.’
‘To give back some control and individualism, my second piece is an interchangeable seat and back support, with varying geometric shapes. Once assembled, the large necklace-like object can be rearranged and adjusted to get the desired level of support and comfort when sitting.’
These products were designed by Claire Davison and are owned by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Any enquiries should be directed to Manchester Health Ventures.
We were very pleased to welcome over 100 visitors to our exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. Seeing the finished prototypes for the first time was brilliant and it was great to hear the conversations and discussions they prompted.
As well as the eight prototypes, the exhibition featured the work of three artists in response to living with an invisible condition.
Keep your eyes out for future posts where we will be putting the spotlight on each of our designers’ and artists’ work.
We are looking for more researchers to get involved in our final #DesignforMSK workshop on Saturday 8th October. The workshops are a great, informal environment to talk to young people about the issues they face due to their musculoskeletal conditions.
If you’d like to take part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org