Final year project
Reducing the Negative Health Outcomes Experienced by Transgender People who use Chest Binders
Breathe: Community-Led Design
Over 130 members of the transgender community informed the development of Breathe. Through questionnaires, interviews, co-design workshops and multiple user evaluations, Breathe was designed to be a truly user-centred product. Breathe allows binder users to take breaks without taking off their other clothes. Users can simply press a button on a remote and Breathe will decompress using it's integrated smart technology.
Breathe: Stylish and Discreet
Electrical components have been compacted and placed strategically on the binder to prevent any outlines from being visible through clothing. This along with a wide range of skin tone options makes Breathe a discrete option. Breathe has been designed with a modern, sporty aesthetic in mind so users also have the option of wearing it as a stand-alone, stylish garment.
Breathe: Smarter, Safer Chest Binding
Breathe has the potential to have a drastic impact on the typical user experience. Users don’t need to escape to bathrooms to take off sweaty and tight binders during the day. With Breathe, users can even take breaks in public without anyone noticing. Breathe has a built in accelerometer and will automatically loosen slightly if the user starts running, reducing potential stress to the their body.
Breathe: Patterns and Overheating
Mesh patterns not only give Breathe a unique style, but creates increased airflow to the user, reducing the risks of overheating.
Breathe: Controller Development
Dozens of controller designs were produced to develop a user-centred controller that was discreet (didn’t draw unnecessary attention to users who might not want others to know they bind) but still had some personality.
Breathe: A Compact, Intuitive and User Centred Controller
Breathe is remote controlled so the user doesn’t need to take their other clothes off to take a break from binding. Experience prototyping was used to develop an intuitive product interface. To extend its life as long as possible the controller is also waterproof and designed for ease-of-repair.
Breathe: Machine Washable
Breathe has a battery life of around 48hrs giving users plenty of time to take breaks over multiple days. It is powered by a battery module that can be removed when the binder needs washing or if the battery runs out and needs to be replaced by a spare. The magnetic charge port allows for the module to be easily replaced without the need of one’s sight.
Breathe: Enabled through Smart Technology
The shape memory alloy, nitinol, is the core technology behind Breathe. When electrified it decompresses the binder, allowing users to take an easy break. Over a dozen iterations were completed to create a feasible mechanism.
I try to work by the mantra that designers should be “informed by data and driven by empathy,” whether a problem requires a service, ux or product design solution, the user always remains at the centre of my design process.
Within my designer’s toolkit, design research is my biggest strength. Involving users directly in the research and development process has played an essential role in creating meaningful solutions. This was especially important during my final year project, where over 130 transgender individuals were involved in co-design workshops, interviews and questionnaires so I could effectively map out their wants and needs. I have also come to understand the innate connection between design and business during my placement at Smallfry. Through my experience developing a variety of industrial, medical and consumer products I have learned to create high impact solutions that are feasible, both on a product design and strategic level. As a passionate designer I think it’s essential to play an active role in the development of my industry. As a Digital Marketing Designer for BIDA (the British Industrial Design Association) I have helped to promote British Industrial Design by creating content for the ‘British Industrial Design Export Initiative’ and the BIDA website. Outside of work, I try to live by the same principles of design. How can I create a positive impact for those around me? As the Events Manager for the LGBT+ Association I have been involved in the organisation of dozens of events. Creating inclusive events that meet the diverse wants and needs of our community requires the same user centred principles I have learned as a designer. I have also worked hard to ensure these events are self-sufficient, providing a pathway towards financial sustainability for the Association. My career goals are to develop my designer’s toolkit, so I can explore the problems of clients and users in greater depth. I am particularly interested in developing my Service Design skills, I see this as the area in which design has the highest potential for impact.
’19 RSA Design Awards, Design School Nominee ’17 Worldstar, Certificate of Merit (Top 13) ’17 Starpack, Highly Commended
19’ BIDA – Digital Marketing Designer
07/2017 - 07/2018
Smallfry – Junior Designer