After watching ‘The Big Life Fix’, a documentary about designers making new products for people in need, I feel inspired by the routes my career in design can take in terms of the help I can provide to those who need it. The episode I watched surrounded a young man named James who suffered from Epidermolysis Bullosa. This is a rare skin condition that causes the skin to blister and fall off. It can be painful for James to touch things. A result of his condition is that his fingers have fused together meaning he finds it extremely hard to do what he loves most. Taking pictures on his camera.
Jude Pullen, a British designer, was assigned to help create a way for James to take pictures painlessly. Through observing and contextual interview Pullen came up with an initial prototype which used giant levers and heaver buttons that James could pres and move much easier. This however made James feel like he stood out a lot more from normal people. The design however was a step in the right direction as this was the first time James had ever been able to turn on the camera or adjust the focus/zoom on his own.
After redesigning, Pullens final creation worked really well. He invented and 3D printed a cog system that allowed James to adjust settings using an app on his iPad. The battery pack was also hooked up to James’ wheelchair to allow for a longer life span.
The thought and design that went into the camera adjustment was inspiring to me. Pullen managed to completely change someones life. James constantly lives in pain. Taking pictures helps to reduce the pain to background noise and allows him to leave memories behind for people to enjoy after he passes.