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What’s on in the White Building: November 2022

15 Nov 2022

This month the White Building windows give a glimpse of past and present projects through prototypes and artefacts on display. We give a taster of how Lab4Living uses design research to enhance quality of life, challenge approaches, explore possible futures and support the training of the next generation of healthcare professionals.

In the Windows

Head Up

This research developed a neck support for people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) who develop weak neck muscles, leading to pain, restricted movement.

Working with patients, carers and clinicians, we developed a more user-friendly alternative to existing support devices which were restrictive, uncomfortable and unappealing.

Through an iterative prototyping process the HeadUp Collar, a class one medical device, has been patented. This supportive neck collar has flexibility to allow functional head movement.
Read more about how Head Up in How good design can change lives

Medification – from the HOSPITAbLe collection

This work highlights examples of fictional medicine from literature, film and television, through labels on medicine bottles. It refers to our need to place trust in an expert when we need to solve a problem that is beyond our understanding.

Medification is part of the HOSPITAbLe collection of objects which imagines an ambiguous future domestic landscape. The collection explores the way health services might be delivered in the future, demanding more self-care and a shift of care from hospital to home.

HOSPITAbLe has been exhibited in Amsterdam, Prague, Edinburgh and Sheffield.

Prototypes from the Obstetric Airways Trainer project.

We’ve been working with anaesthetists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals on a prototype obstetric airway management training tool.

Women requiring emergency ventilation (intubation) during childbirth can have different and changing needs which are not met in current training tools (based on adult males or children) for training anaesthetists.

By building in interchangeable functionality, the design team has produced a training mannequin which can provide more realistic intubation training for the next generation of anaesthetists.

‘Designing by numbers’– Data Chairs

This research inquiry that explores and challenges the ‘data driven’ approach to design research and practice.

Using well established guidelines for key standard chair measurements (Height x Length x Width) and then making small, incremental changes to each, we end up with 10,000 physical chair permutations. Data Chairs presents 100 of the possible permutations.

This work is currently being shown in the ‘Beyond 100: Transforming Design & Imagining Futures’ exhibition at Hong Kong Design Institute, which runs until Feb 2023.

In the White Building

This month, the team has participated online in the launch of the ‘Beyond 100: Transforming Design & Imagining Futures’ exhibition, which opened on 11 November 2022 at Hong Kong Design Institute. The exhibition includes artefacts, interventions and prototypes from across Lab4Living, and was developed by Michael Tan, Nick Dulake and Graham Nesbitt. Michael Tan, who curated the exhibition, has a busy schedule of workshops and events during his trip to Hong Kong to launch the exhibition.

Joe Langley will be facilitating workshops on a speech therapy project relates for individuals recovering from stroke. Nick Dulake will be in the workshop building prototypes in preparation for next year’s Biennale.Meanwhile, Ursula Ankeny has been developing prototypes for the Juvenile Ideopathic Arthitis project. The prototypes are now being trialled by young people in Sheffield with arthritis.

What next?