Open design and medical products: irreconcilable differences, or natural bedfellows?

DEXTER, Matt, ATKINSON, Paul and DEARDEN, Andrew (2013). Open design and medical products: irreconcilable differences, or natural bedfellows? In: Proceedings of the 10th European Academy of Design Conference, Gothenburg. [Gothenburg], University of Gothenburg/European Academy of Design.

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This paper describes the first case study of a continuing practice-based PhD as a work-inprogress,exploring the benefits of open design in the conception (and development) of medical products. Described here is the first attempt to tackle some of the issues facing the implementation of open design in a field where a recognised move to ‘open’ working practices & innovation is needed. Presented are some initial results, and some analysis that (it is hoped) will provide an opportunity for discussion. There are moral and pragmatic reasons to include people in the design process, especially true for medical products-whatever their complexity. Some people cannot participate in traditional collaborative design workshops (through suppressed immune systems, immobility, etc) and open design presents an opportunity for those excluded to participate in the design process, such as those people with Cystic Fibrosis. This is a chronic genetic condition, affecting the internal organs and having a very great impact on a person’s quality of life; as one example, people who have Cystic Fibrosis are strongly discouraged from meeting together. Open design by its nature is a collaborative activity, and the work described here aims to prototype a wholly virtual meeting of people, and empower them to conceive and develop their own products based on their own lived experience of Cystic Fibrosis. The project involves the development of a community of people with Cystic Fibrosis, supported through tools and online workshops with a designer, within an Action Research methodology. It is expected that open design has a positive contribution to make in this field, despite the very real questions surrounding its implementation; and the transition of the designer’s role from production of artefacts to facilitating and nurturing design activity is explored in this work.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: section in online e-book of conference papers from the 10th European Academy of Design Conference : Crafting the future, held at University of Gothenburg, 17-19 April 2013.
Uncontrolled Keywords: open design, health, medical products
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Paul Atkinson
Date Deposited: 16 May 2014 12:50
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 05:50

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