Product designs from Middlesex University grads use play to help children cope with illnesses


Products from Middlesex grads use play to help children cope with illness

As part of their VDF school show, students from Middlesex University are showcasing health product designs for children suffering from diabetes, ADHA and dyspraxia, which allow them to manage and understand their conditions.

The 15 projects showcased below were created by recent graduates from the school's product design degree, which after an initial year of study allows students to pursue the more creative route of a Bachelor of Arts or the more technical one of a Bachelor of Engineering.

Also featured in this virtual exhibition is an AI monitoring device for skin cancer remission patients and modular trainers that allow the wearer to exchange individual parts that have become worn out or gone out of fashion.


BA Product Design and BEng Product Design Engineering, Middlesex University

University: Middlesex University
Courses: BA Product Design and BEng Product Design Engineering
Tutors: Kate Herd, Andy Bardill, Wyn Griffiths, Ahmed Patel, Neil Melton, Dean Brown, Patrick Jordan and Tom Stables

Course statement:

"Product Design and Product Design Engineering at Middlesex University are practice-based programmes, focused on employability. Both the BA and BEng programme are driven by our passion for understanding people and technology, exploring innovative solutions driven by real opportunities, and addressing challenges faced by both industry and society.

"Find us on Instagram @MDXPD and under the hashtag #mdxpd."


Tandem by Abdulaziz Mohamud, BA Product Design

"This project aims to encourage active transport through cycling, based on a co-design process in collaboration with underrepresented communities that allows them to create solutions that empower and engage them.

"More than 85 per cent of cyclists on Transport for London-assessed cycling routes are white. Not only are cycling levels low in BAME communities, but these communities also have higher proportions of members who are overweight and inactive.

"My project works in tandem with these underrepresented groups, drawing out unique insights about their aspirations and barriers in order to develop new approaches to active transport."

Portfolio: behance.net/abdulazizMohamud


Products from Middlesex grads use play to help children cope with illness

Play Things by Patrea Powell-Farquharson, BA Product Design

"Children suffering from dyspraxia often struggle to develop the muscle tone and coordination needed for effective handwriting. Play Things is a game controller that enables them to target and train a series of muscles in their hands, wrist and forearms, which are involved in the writing process."

Instagram: @patreaj


Hadi by Adil Kauim, BA Product Design

"Hadi is a product that can strengthen the connection between the user and Allah by allowing them to recreate a mosque-like setting at work. It creates a private realm within the office setting, allowing them to pray salah in comfort.

"Beyond improving the relationship with Allah, it also helps colleagues gain an understanding of the process and why it requires privacy."

Instagram: @ak.4telier


Nuovo by Ben-Jordon Readings, BEng Product Design Engineering

"Nuovo is an electric conversion retrofit system designed for vintage Lambretta scooters. By integrating modern technology and manufacturing techniques within the original design, Nuovo maintains the authentic Lambretta experience.

"By replacing the petrol-driven crank with a DC motor and bespoke coupling, the original engine remains intact. The affective and experiential elements that derive from the clutch, the gears and the 50-year-old engine are all retained.

"This conversion has been designed as a DIY kit and will allow drivers to continue enjoying their vehicles despite new pollution-reducing measures."

Instagram: @bjreadings


GamAssist by Emmanuel Mafuta, BA Product Design

"GamAssist is a mobile gambling recovery app which hopes to help users abstain from online gambling activities.

"Existing recovery apps are primarily designed for users who are already experiencing issues with their gambling behaviour, while GamAssist is also targeted to people who realise that they need a change or are concerned that they may be heading down the wrong path. GamAssist intervenes as early as possible to start the recovery process and aims to change the user's associations with gambling."

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/emmanuel-mafuta


Stasis by Huw Morgan, BEng Product Design Engineering

"Stasis is a device that helps skin cancer remission patients and their doctors identify recurrent cancers in their early stages.

"It allows users to take regular photographs of a mole, and uses AI to make note of different variables. By tracking the visual evolution of a mole, it can spot micro-changes that would normally go unnoticed. Using sensors to track thermal recovery after rapid cooling means Stasis can detect increased amounts of blood vessels around the mole, which is another early warning sign.

"Based on this information, the system prompts patients to arrange an emergency appointment and allows doctors to monitor their patients long-term, outside of the three- to six-monthly checkups."

Website: huwamorgan.co.uk


Products from Middlesex grads use play to help children cope with illness

Ripple by Isabel Parker, BA Product Design

"Children under five are especially susceptible to the negative effects of air pollution, with 543,000 deaths every year directly linked to poor air quality. Infants are at increased risk due to their developing immune systems and they face a 60 per cent higher exposure in comparison to those who stand above 80 centimetres tall.

"Ripple is a companion air pollution monitor for parents that provides them with digestible data, actionable guidance and insights on their current exposure levels. In the long-term, it also aims to create a community of like-minded individuals that come together to support and empower each other as a catalyst for environmental change."

Instagram: @isabelparkerdesign


Supernova by Jack Parkes, BEng Product Design Engineering

"Printers generally present the same user experience, which results in a cocktail of tedious and frustrating interactions. A more modern and innovative approach is needed.

"The main focus of a printer is typically the display and more specifically the graphical user interface (GUI), with current printers removing excess buttons and switches as standard. Through researching and determining fundamental concepts, three central interactions have been formed as part of the Supernova concept.

"Constellation is a GUI focused on image printing via wireless transfer, Spacetime is an AR-driven information and troubleshooting experience and Nebula a GUI designed around the scanning of documents, IDs and literature."

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/jparkes0


Stigma by Joseph Hancock, BA Product Design

"Stigma is a community platform allowing users to share stories without fear of the social stigmas and prejudices that pollute our society.

"Users can remain anonymous and openly write about negative situations that are impacting their mental health and wellbeing, all while learning from the experiences of others and developing empathy. Stigma aims to build a library of experiences and lessons, which break down the barriers people face, allowing them to no longer feel isolated but part of a community."

Portfolio: josephhancock.myportfolio.com


Bathroom storage by Liridon Rexhepi, BA Product Design Engineering

"Actual and perceived cleanliness of toothbrushes and other personal care items in bathrooms remains an interesting challenge.

"Inspired by principles of Japanese design, this product range offers a simple, beautiful and effective solution."

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/liridon-rexhepi


Products from Middlesex grads use play to help children cope with illness

Buddy by Tatiana Inacio Brites, BA Product Design

"Buddy is an interactive, educational toy for children aged five to eight with Type 1 diabetes. It simulates what it is like to live with a chronic illness like this and the different scenarios it entails, facilitating learning through play.

"Storylines are mapped to daily routines and interactions, helping the child learn how to care for their little Buddy with T1 diabetes and, in the process, themselves. Parents and carers can also use Buddy as a medium to interact and educate.

"Children feed Buddy a range of food using its interactive near-field communication (NFC) cards, so they can come to understand the impact food has on someone's physical wellbeing. Buddy also allows interactions including carb counting, monitoring glucose levels and practising the process associated with insulin injections."

Instagram: @tb13design


Mo by Muhammed Bah, BA Product Design

"Mo is the Modular sneaker that gives you mo' – a sustainable trainer that utilises modular design and customisation to provide wearers with a new way to repair and personalise their shoes. In turn, this helps to reduce the amount of waste generated by the footwear industry and promotes an extended product lifecycle.

"MO allows users to update individual components to keep up with trends and to replace these components as they wear down rather than disposing of the entire shoe. Comprising of six key components, the upper, outsole, insole, shank, bolts and laces, MO is easily assembled and disassembled. By using recycled and recyclable materials, the overall environmental impact of the trainer is greatly reduced."

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/muhammed-bah


Connect by Ryan Ward, BA Product Design

"In response to people's negative experiences with and feelings towards the gym, Connect aims to make gym environments less intimidating for its members by building communities and enabling individuals to ask for help without feeling embarrassed.

"The Connect system consists of a wearable and an NFC device that is attached to the gym machines. The wearable allows users to scan the NFC device and request help."

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/ryan-ward


Pathfinder by Tyreece Sousa-Blackett, BA Product Design

"Pathfinder is a handheld, haptic navigational device that uses vibrations to guide users to their destination instead of relying on on-screen instructions. Pathfinder lets people interact with their commute in a new and innovative way, encouraging them to take alternate routes where possible and in turn promoting a more active commute.

"This can help people tackle the negative effects of commuting in urban environments while avoiding unexpected delays and overcrowding. The ultimate aim is to create more pleasurable experiences and prevent people from being completely reliant on visual guidance for commuting."

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/tyreece-sousa-blackett


Products from Middlesex grads use play to help children cope with illness

Baby Stork by Tzu Tao, BA Product Design

"Baby Stok is an assistance device for children with ADHD, who may have trouble keeping track of tasks and activities.

"Baby Stork is a wearable reminder, that helps children with ADHD manage their belongings and nudges them to do their chores or homework."

Portfolio: behance.net/violetaoo​


Virtual Design Festival's student and schools initiative offers a simple and affordable platform for student and graduate groups to present their work during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for more details.

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