Critical Design & Design Fictions

The project we were given in the second week by Theo was called ‘Critical Design & Design Fictions’, this project consisted of finding a problem which is regularly encountered in today’s world, once we found a suitable problem we then needed to thoroughly investigate it and design a product which provided a solution to the problem.

After finding out the brief I then produced a mind map of problems which i encountered regularly and tried to find a solution to some of these. These problems consisted of such things as cooking, commuting and studying; I then began to research these problems. Whilst researching i found several existing solutions to the problems which i could not improve on, this meant that for the first three days of the project i constantly came do dead ends and had to begin again, and research a new idea. I then researched existing solutions to food allergies as I suffer from an egg allergy, but found very little. From my experience I have found that there is no cure to my allergy, but i strongly believe that there are possible ways to make the allergy easier to live with on a day to day basis. Therefore due to my knowledge on the topic i decided to pursue this idea for my project on ‘Critical Design & Design Fictions’.

I began by researching how allergies are tested for and how there severities of the allergy are scaled. I then looked at the different food allergies which people suffer from, these range widely which made me think how i could design a product which could make the daily lives of these sufferers easier.

This led me to look at wearable solutions such as rings and wristbands as they are extremely portable, and can easily be carried with you. After researching this i found that the wristband would be the most ideal solution to the issue and would fit the brief set by Theo brilliantly. I then produced a range of designs which matched the criteria of the product i wanted to produce. Before narrowing them down to a single design which was inspired by the Apple Watch, and the Nike Fuel Band.
This product would work by placing a small amount of the food onto an area of the band, the band would then change colour, either to green if the food was safe and did not contain the substance that the user was allergic to, or to red if it was unsafe and did contain the substance. This was the thought behind the product, but after further research i found that the technology for this was currently not available and therefore although i wanted to further research the product i was unable to due to a lack of technology available at this moment in time.

I thoroughly enjoyed this project and found it a shame that we only had a week to produce designs on the topic. I think i could have expanded my research further and possible produced a model to fit the brief. I also believe that in the future i could look further into the development of this product or a similar product.

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