Design in times of corona: Medical shields & face masks

Based on the two Waag meetups on the role of the maker movement in times of corona crisis, Pakhuis de Zwijger is organising an online meetup on face shields and snorkel masks on Friday April 17th at 4 pm. Waag's Paulien Melis (MakeHealth Lab) and researcher Pieter van Boheemen, who lead the meetup on snorkel masks for Waag last week, will take part.

Register and attend the meetup via Pakhuis de Zwijger.

In this time of COVID-19, distributed design has quickly become our reality out of necessity. Fab Labs and maker spaces are distributing machines, companies are collaborating, and designers worldwide are opening their processes to rapidly design, and many individuals want to help and innovate health and wellbeing equipment in response to the crisis on a global scale. For one, distributed design and digital fabrication can help overcome supply problems in a crisis. For effectively supporting the fight against COVID-19, you need to know however where your help really has an impact on the medical needs. Also, this crisis has given rise to the need for an international design language that is clear and communicable at distance.

Creative Care
Waag’s MakeHealth Lab and Creative Care Lab bring together those in need of healthcare solutions with designers, makers, and professionals in healthcare. Together, these experts go through the design and production process to produce personalised healthcare tools, solutions, aids or adjustments in care services that actually meet the needs of the intended recipients. In this crisis, there is overwhelming support from the design community, but it’s difficult to distinguish between initiatives that actually save lives and well-intentioned ideas, which may pose a risk to health and pressure on hospitals. Paulien Melis emphasis the importance of design sensibility and thorough (medical) research.

Reusable Full-Face Snorkel Mask PPE Project
While experts point out that the coronavirus is likely to spread through the air, healthcare workers are currently walking around with surgical masks unable to filter airborne virus particles. With a snorkel mask attached to a certified filter, you may be fully protected. Pieter van Boheemen is working on a design based on the work of Stanford’s Prakash Lab, who works with scientists from the Swiss EPFL, the 3D printing firm FormLabs and anesthetists from the Utah School of Medicine plus a group of enthusiasts from all over the world. The setup is based on Decathlon’s Easybreath snorkel mask. The store has stopped selling masks to private individuals to make them available for health workers.