Health products; designed with, not for, end users

DEXTER, Matt, ATKINSON, Paul and DEARDEN, Andrew (2011). Health products; designed with, not for, end users. In: YOXALL, Alaster, (ed.) Proceedings of the 1st European Conference on Design 4 Health, Sheffield. Sheffield Hallam University, 110-121.

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This paper describes research in progress that aims to explore the role that open design could play in the development of medical products. Including people in the development process of medical products has been shown to have benefits to both producers and users but is not universally applied. There are multiple factors from a producer’s point of view as to why a collaborative development process is not used, but similarly there are some medical conditions that preclude a person’s involvement in collaborative group work. For example, people who have the chronic condition Cystic Fibrosis are excluded from traditional collaborative design sessions due to susceptibility to certain communicable diseases. Open design offers the opportunity for people normally excluded in collaborative design processes to not only be included, but also shape the direction of the enquiry. Through the use of social media, and other collaborative internet-enabled tools the dissemination and development of ideas can occur. This goes beyond the fundamental moral and pragmatic arguments for collaborative working, since the knowledge and experience of the people participating is harnessed and available to all. This process therefore bears the hallmarks of a truly emancipatory technique, compatible with the notion of human flourishing and that the concept of a person’s ‘health’ extends beyond a mere absence of illness. The research is based around a series of practical case studies within an Action Research framework, the first of which is outlined here, where artefacts will be produced using open design; drawing upon established methods using prototypes as research and trialing the combination of physical tools (e.g. 3D printing) and virtual meeting spaces to facilitate the design activity.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Depositing User: Paul Atkinson
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2014 09:17
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2015 02:34

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