Art Center College of Design
Elle is an innovative prosthetic leg and swimwear for single-leg below the knee swimmers. Nowadays, there are barely a training equipment for single-leg swimmers.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
There are challenges in this project, which are; 1. A lack of balance to mantain streamline position. Single-leg swimmers tend to keep their hips down. 2. The human leg and mechanical leg instability. 3. The variety of swimming phases such as launching off, swimming, and flipping turn. How can I help them to accomplish this three stages?3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
I bring my own experience and empathy to the project. I analyzed what they want as an athlete and what they need as a designer. The design criterias/goals are: 1. Elle must help them to swim in the streamline position. 2. Prosthetic socket must hold the stump tightly and comfortably. 3. Elle must support their backs, hips, and thighs to prolong endurance. 4. Elle must benefit them in all swimming phases.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
1. Market Research: I analyzed the equipment industry for amputees and I found out that swimming is a great exercise for them because they can work harder and longer for a period of time without increased pain. However, there is NO equipment yet to support their swimming practice. 2. Experts Research: There are three experts that I interview which are a 30+ years swimming instructor, a prosthetist-orthotist, and a single-leg swimmer. I tried to get insights from different fields and point of view. 3. Idea Generation and Idea Development: From analyzing existing products and filtering insights, I explore different areas from mimicking human bones to figuring out the interface to supporting their body equally. 3. Mockups and Feasibility Research: Taking my ideas into the realization. Mockups after mockups, I always come back and check to my experts whether it will work. I tried out my most refined mockups with a single-leg swimmers and it works. 4. Concept and Design Refinement: From the most refined mockups, I refine some of the function and do styling around it to make it look beautiful.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
For Customer: - It does not only gives them more confidence, but It also encourages more amputees to swim and achieves a healthy balance life just like other people. - It proves that they are no different than us. That they can swim as great as other athletes or even better. For Industry: - It fills in the "white space" opportunity and brings profits to the manufacture/company.