June 12, 2014
Great article about using corsets for chronic back pain.
An informative read about one person’s creative use of corsets to manage the pain she experiences having Ehlers Danlos syndrome.
This is just one example of a health seeker finding a way for medical prescription to fit in with their own identity. Rather than the medical corsets or supports that are available, Jo has considered physical function and realised that the corset can also achieve this as well as considering the psychological and social factors of wellbeing of wearing an object that does not scream “medical” or “sick” at anyone seeing it.
October 2, 2013
Watch Sonny Vu talking about wearables at the above link
Sonny Vu talks at Medicine x about wearables. It is an interesting video and Vu shows his grasp and understanding of the field. Of any wearables commentator, he is the best informed, that I have heard or read. And this understanding is embodied in his company’s new design called “Shine”. Although I do not like the name, it does work well with the parameters that Sonny Vu talks about. The wearability is terms of comfort has been considered and the fact that it can be worn in different ways is innovative. its also water-proof which increases its wearability factor for all those swimmers out there.
However I am hoping that he is saving the best for later, since there are still many areas that he could explore regarding the wearing of objects, which I do hope to write about in my thesis (watch this space!).
A further point is that a wearable for fitness (and a motivated wearer) is very different to a health device that is required to be worn by the wearer to support a chronic health condition. These wearers are two distinct groups of people with very different needs.
I am also intrigued by how he defines ‘precious’ and how he intends to use this in his designs.
On Twitter he did cause concern regarding his apparent dismissal of the involvement of patients in designing wearable medical devices. Others commented that he perhaps did not explain himself very well. He did comment on Twitter that his company does ‘consult’ with patients. How his company does this I do not know. although I would be very interested to find out.
In conclusion, I like ‘Shine’ and find it the most wearable of all the fitness trackers. Vu does have his finger on the pulse (I know, I know!) of the wearables industry. And I look forward to seeing Misfits’ new products.
August 6, 2013
well worth a read, to begin considering how these wearable devices will effect us in the future.
October 11, 2012
Yesterday I visited The Welcome museum’s exhibition ‘Superhuman’ which is on until the 16th October 2012. I always enjoy the integrity of the museum’s exhibitions and this one also did not fail to please on this count. This is a thought-provoking exhibition and it certainly gave me pause for thought.
I came away feeling that I had seen an exhibition about being human, feeling human, and something of what it means to be human. In its showing of our history of prosthetics and enhancements, we see how we have always strived for physical and mental improvement through the use of tools. Whether this be an Egyptian big toe prosthesis, to Viagra and the future possibiliites of cognitive enhancement through the use of designer drugs. Though my preferred cognitive enhancers are my smartphone and caffeine!
What was also highlighted is the need of humans to impose such prosthetics on those deemed incomplete or in need of enhancing. Here we see the footage of children whose mothers had taken the drug thalidomide during their pregnancy, attempting to use the prosthetic devices made for them. What was powerfully shown was how disempowering such interventions could be for the subject of them. It showed our human fragilities and strengths not just by and through its subjects but by those who engaged with the subjects and attempted to improve their lives.
The exhibition begins fittingly, with a small sculptured figure of Icarus who flew too high with his wings of feathers and wax, where the sun then melted them and he fell to his death.
It seemed to highlight not only the human being’s prosthetic impulse, how we will always find and create the tools to enhance and augment our abilities. But that along with this impulse there is also a compulsion to push this to its or to our limits. As Emily Sargent points out a key aspect of the human enhancement argument debate is ‘the question of not just what is possible but at what point we should stop.’
This point came back to me at various points of the exhibition, and none more poignantly than to read about and watch the film footage of Tom Simpson who died in the 1967 Tour de France from severe dehydration after cycling through his body’s human limitations on a mix of amphetamines, alcohol and a desire to win. Here I watched a live Icarus of his time take himself to the extremes of human physical endurance and use enhancing substances which ultimately led to his death.
I also could not help but be moved by Mosen Makhmalbaf’s film ‘Kandahar’, watching the men with amputated limbs chasing the prosthetic limbs being parachuted into Afghanistan. And the opening scenes of this short film where a husband is determined to bring back suitable legs for his wife, ones which looked feminine and fit the shoes she had worn on her wedding day.
In this entire exhibition, which was a good mix of art and science, the personal was virtually always at he the forefront. The implications of lacking something physically and how we may or may not need to compensate for this not only physically but emotionally too.
This was no more highlighted than by Revital Cohen’s installation entitled Immortal with its interconnected life-support machines, where the missing link was a human.
At a time when we are all enhanced (biochemically through vaccinations; cognitively through smartphones or even Google alone; physically through the sportswear that helps improve our performances), this exhibition is very timely, particularly since it opened with the Paralympics , where a small seed change happened in the (inter)national psyche in how we viewed those people with disabilities and even more abilities perform at the top of their game.
This was an exhibition that showed us work at the boundaries of science, the boundaries of being human. It also brought us to the art that explores the issues at these boundaries. Superhuman is there to show us all something of being and feeling human.
Wow! Iris VAn Herpen’s new works combine 3D printing and sewing techniques to produce visually and sculpturally stunning garments.
via Co. design Suzanne Labarre
August 22, 2011
TMD report on the use of 3D scanning techniques and RP in prosthetic design and fabrication.
Traditionally, making a prosthetic ear involves making a plaster casting of the good ear, and using that as a pattern for hand sculpting a mirror image for the opposite ear, which will be the pattern for the new ear. Now anaplastologists can send the plaster casting directly to DDI, who then scans it, mirrors the design digitally, and sends the file to be rapid prototyped. The new ear arrives within days, saving the anaplastologist a half day to a whole day of effort, which can be focused on higher value activity.
This helps in reducing costs, waiting times and offers greater accuracy.